Every Age is My Favorite

As a child turns 1 year old, I see so many mothers saying “No! Can I stop time?! I miss my baby! Why?!” Insert melodramatic statement. With my first child, I never had that thought once.  I actually couldn’t wait for the first year to go by. Her to become more independent, in turn, I would get a little independence too. She could do more things with her Dad since she wouldn’t be attached to my boob all day. A whole future ahead of us.

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When Peach was 10 days old.

To be honest, I look back and regret much of her first year. I wish I would have smiled more. I wish I would have embraced that priceless, innocent time together. Motherhood is such a big transition and I wish I would have gotten perspective that THIS is the GOOD STUFF and throw my FOMO to the wind. I had a few major personal tragedies that perhaps, got the best of me. I’m here to say, grow through what you go through. It’s inevitable, anyway.

That I did.

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Peach, 2 weeks old. Trip to Redwing, MN. Fly fishing with my dad.

After what arguably should have been one of the best years of my life, I spent it crying almost daily and clutching on to the hope that this too shall pass.

All too soon, I’m afraid.

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My Dad with Peach on Fathers Day. 1 month before he passed away.

I even had thoughts like “I may never have another baby again.” God had a different plan. Like he always does. Surprise! I got pregnant with my son the month my daughter turned 1. There was no doubt in my mind, this is not a good time. I was just getting through the first year! I cried thinking about telling my husband.

A bittersweet moment with tears welling in my eyes, I told him. He smiled, leaned in and kissed me. Warmth came over me. We’re going to be okay. Maybe even better than okay. I settled into my pregnancy with a happy peace. Enjoying the precious months, planning with anticipation.

One day I asked the wisest woman I know (my mother- mom to 3 daughters) what her favorite age was while her children grew up. Her answer, “every age is my favorite.” Oh the smile it gave me. It touched my heart and soul. It’s really is so true. Pregnancy is full of hopes and dreams. Who will you be? What will you look like? The First Year. Full of love, cuddles and oh, so many firsts. The fun, wild and hilarious Toddler years. What a joy to see your personality and language flourish!

The day Chief was born. Jan 2017

I had a whole new perspective once my son was born. There’s no way I was going to let my past rob me of a beautiful first year with my him. (and second year with my daughter, too!) Shortly before my Dad passed, he said “there is beauty in every day.” I’ve mentioned it before. I hold it close to my heart. It helps me live in the moment. To really appreciate every age and stage of my children. Yes, it’s bittersweet knowing nursing my son is short lived and before I know it, I won’t be able to hold my daughter because she’ll be too big. I don’t let it ruin me though. I know some of the best years of our lives are yet to come. I look forward to the day my son can mow the lawn, my daughter and I can shop for her prom dress and even one day, grandchildren of my own.

The 3 amigos, taking on the world together.

I’m tearing up now. It’s truly because my heart is so full. I only pray one day, they get to feel the same kind of love I do, when they hold their own babies in their arms. I do pray I have more children, I just have too much love to give! It’s okay if this is it, though. I get to hold these memories in my heart forever.

♥️💓- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight Part 2

As my first story ended we arrived (barely) in sunny Texas, headed for South Padre Island. If you missed Part 1 or want a refresher you can read it right here. Oh, how nice it is that a little salty sea breeze can instantly remove all airport frustrations from a gal.  Before I could really take a load off we needed a few supplies. I’d like to note that our first stop after landing at the airport was Wal-Mart. Now, I’m a Target shopper (shoutout to Minnesota) so, this was already out of my comfort zone. Add a little Texas spin to it and “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” 4 bottles of sunscreen, pack and play crib, a case of Lime-A-Ritas and $500 later, we leave Wal-Mart. Unscathed? The jury is still out on that one.

After a week of sun, seafood and quality family time we headed back to the dreaded Delta airplane hanger…

Before we left, I went online to check us in. I thought something might be fishy when only my husband and daughters name popped up but I ignored it. Surprise, I know. Once we’re at the departure check-in counter things take a nasty turn. They cannot find my ticket or my sons. No exaggeration, an hour later we make our way to security. During the wait, I’ve got a kid who pooped, one who is running around like a dog that needs to hit the doggy-park for a 5 mile jog and a missing husband who is supposed to be returning the SUV rental. Guardian Angel, I need you now.

We arrive at security and they let us through ahead of the line since we have young children. Yahoo! Just kidding, they need to take my kids water bottles and do an intensive examination, X-rays, explosive tests, drug analysis and a strip search. Guess what? We were clean…

Off to the gate! Run!

Turns out since Delta “lost” my tickets and check ins, I was LAST to check in.  My husband and daughter got accepted. Not little Chief and I. The clerk informs us that the flight is overbooked, I have no seat assignment and I’m “at risk” of not getting on the plane. Don’t worry though, I’d get an Amazon gift card for my troubles. Ha. Ha.

At this rate, I’m feeling a little weak. The whole entire flight of passengers walk by us, one by one. Staring us down like “ugh, 2 toddlers…that’d be cool if you didn’t let them on”. Sorry, peeps. Here comes the circus. Some sweetie agreed to take another flight and they let us on.

Shall I set the scene? Everyone is boarded and buckled. Then here come Poulsen Tornado Party of 4. #walkofshame much? Have the kids napped? Yeah, right. Ha! Are the parents in a good mental state? Yeah, right. Ha!

There is a small glimmer of joy. There’s a open seat next to me!!! Hallelujah, mama needs some more room (for free- Ain’t nobody got time to pay for an infant seat, me anyway)

Up we go, headed for the clouds. Peach is screaming. She’s exhausted, hot and sweaty, hungry. Super fun combo for an almost 3 year old. My husband starts feeding her chocolate. (He’s always full of the best ideas *winks*)  If you thought she looked like she hadn’t bathed in weeks, add melted chocolate around her face. #parentoftheyear

The kids are naturally thirsty so I go and grab the water bottles. *Pop*. Gushing, spraying water is pouring and flying everywhere. AGAIN. Remember Niagara Falls from a week ago? It’s literally all over some crabby dude in front of me and the whole row he’s in, and the 2 women across the aisle from me. Cool. This is going well. AGAIN. How did I forget what happened on our first flight? Must have been cocktails on the ocean…

I finally get Chief to fall asleep. Ahhhh, peace. Not really, I hear Peach screaming. I look at my husband and gesture “paci”? (Yep, my almost 3 year old still loves her Paci for nap and bedtime). I never let her have it in public but drastic times… you know the saying. I toss the pacifier to him. She happily grabs it and starts sucking and biting on it all the while smearing more chocolate around her mouth. Toddler for sale… (I kid!) Peach decides now would be a perfect time to be a cat. She pounces out of her seat and starts crawling down the aisle meowing at passengers along the way. My hub and I exchange “shrug-type” glances because we’re just happy she’s not screaming or peeing. Can’t win ’em all…

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Peach is also shoeless.
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I love my husbands face here. Like, “sorry, she’s living her best life.”

The plane starts to descend, I can almost taste victory. Home! I love you, so!

All in all, the flights were worth it. Whatever gets you to the beach, amiright?! My main tip would be, fly direct whenever you can! Cocktails are nice too.

🛩💺😼- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Spring Break Flight

I’d say it’s a almost a no-brainer that the hot messes were plentiful on our flight to South Padre Island. Little tornadoes are basically unavoidable with 2 toddlers on a 90 passenger plane. The excitement began as we made our way through the airport. For some reason the check-in clerk only printed mine and Chief’s boarding passes. So off we went through the line as Dad and Peach made the trek all the way back to the beginning. Shall I set the scene? Double stroller, overstuffed back pack, 2 big convertible car seats, diaper bag and squirmy 14 month old. I’m sure we’ll breeze right through security! *sarcasm*

My instructions: remove car seats and move them to specific location, move stroller and all bags, remove shoes and child from baby carrier. All by myself. If I put my son on the ground he literally just runs away. I was about to tear up and it was only 10AM. Some dude even helped me get my shoe on finally.

Not sure why the TSA thinks I’m always smuggling drugs… I’m not that exciting. But really though, why me? After endless swabs, pokes and prods we’re finally set free. It doesn’t really feel like freedom though because now I’m stuck again. With a huge freaking stroller, 2 car seats, buck wild child and no husband in sight. But there was a bar in sight… mimosa please!

Chief living the dream on the airport floor #worldsokayestmom

Fast forward to the plane. Naturally, I went for the bargain tickets which mean Chief was stuck on my lap and we couldn’t reserve seats in advance. With Chief strapped on me in the Ergo-360 I find my spot. There’s an open seat next to me. As passengers file on I keep silently praying it’s not the old dude with long beard, 20 something frat boy or the polished business man that’s going to be our neighbor. I’m also not oblivious to the fact these men probably feel the exact same way. Luckily my husband and daughter are across the aisle from me. I keep shooting him looks as boarders pass us. Please God! *stares towards the heavens*.

At last a young woman stops. It’s her lucky day. 😬 I find out later she’s my age and has 2 kids. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I don’t believe in coincidences.

Looking much more peaceful than we feel 

We take off. It’s approximately toddler nap time. Perfect. I’m sure they’ll sleep like angels the whole flight. Or try, NOT AT ALL. At this point, I just want Chief to be quiet. Peach too. That seems easier at this rate while my husbands tossing fruit snacks at her as fast as her grimy hands can grab them.

Our seats are cramped and Chief is wiggling all over. As soon as I can, I order an overpriced cocktail. The flight attendant must feel for me. She doesn’t charge me. (There are angels among us!)

I figure Chief and Peach must need to wet their whistles so I grab the Camelbak and Contigos. *pop* I open the tops and you’d think you were at Niagara Falls. Water starts spraying out in a huge fountain up in the air. It just keeps coming and I can’t seem to control it. Not many were spared. Including the grumpy business man and a couple spring breakers in the row ahead. I offer up my flimsy cocktail napkin as a sorry-feel bad for me-gesture. My hub and I start the nervous laughter… if you know me, more like hysterical laugh-crying. *chugs lukewarm vodka soda*.

Peach needs to pee. Thank you, God,she told us. Husband and I take turns bringing her to the toilet. We’ve been in 4 times now. She’s too scared to go. It’s loud. It’s dark. It’s cramped. Heck, I’m scared too. Where exactly does the pee go when you flush?… Note worthy- the bathroom was up through first class where we repeatedly had to pass by Afroman. *because I got high…* (probably should have gotten high before this 😉)

The flight attendant walks by. I order another drink. She mixes it for me and doesn’t charge again. I’m thinking she must be a mom. I could kiss her.

At last, I get Chief to fall asleep. But now it’s time to prepare to land. Another attendant tells me he can’t be in the carrier and I have to unclip him. No! Please no! He finally fell asleep and I’m quite certain the whole entire plane is really happy about that.

Well, I oblige and free him. He’s still sleeping! Until, my arm rest comes flinging down and smashes his head. Insert scream-crying, over tired 14 month old.

Just get me To. The. Beach.

Pic from the airport right when we landed. Freedom!

To be continued…(flight home in Part 2)

✈️🏖-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Freezer Meal Swap

When I got invited to do a freezer meal swap I was all in. Let’s be honest. I’m a little more Betty Crockpot than Crocker, if ya feel me. All I was going to have to do was prepare 2 different recipes for the group and I’d be bringing home 12 meals. Easy enough right?!

My sister, Mimi, was included in the exchange so we decided to prep our food together. We learned very quickly this wasn’t going to be as easy as we had imagined. It began with Split Pea Soup. Mimi had prepped her peas by soaking them since the early morning for hours. She arrived at my front later that afternoon with pots overflowing with damp green legumes. More dreams of ease start being crushed when we realize we don’t seem to have enough stove space or pots to accommodate the soup. Yet, we manage to start simmering the split peas and move on to prep of the next meal.

25 onions chopped later, we’re starting to sweat. WINE PLEASE. My stove top is starting to gurgle and bubble, army green liquid splattering about. Our other sister arrives and I get her to start opening cans of black beans for me. Again, 24 cans later and carpal tunnel beginning to throb, I decide to text the woman who organized the meal swap. At this point I imagine she’s drowning in the kitchen like us. I’m concerned about her!

Here’s a little how the text conversation goes:

Me: Meal Swap 2018 happening. All I can say is WOW.

Her: Overwhelmed?

Me: Overwhelmed, Yes. Grateful for my big kitchen island but not enough pots, pans and stove space.

Her: What are you using pots and pans for?!

…Ugh, gulp…what do you mean? We’re meal prepping…

*Phone rings*

She calls after she quickly learns that things have gone off the rails. Can you say “train wreck?”  I start to laugh-cry (you know the kind) as she explains we weren’t supposed to actually cook the food. We were just supposed to put the raw ingredients in freezer bags, ready for a slow cooker. I look at Mimi. She’s getting a little teary eyed. I head towards the wine. WINE PLEASE. NOW PLEASE. Screw the glass, gimme the bottle. JK its a box.

We were literally supposed to dump the food into bags and call it a day. GUYS, WE HAD BEEN IN THE KITCHEN FOR 5 HOURS. That doesn’t include the pea pre-soak. Part shaking-part crying- part laughing we attempt to breathe again. My husband was home at this point sitting on the couch like “what in the world did I seriously just come home to?” Yet, he’s never surprised. Another day, another hot mess. I like to keep things exciting in our marriage. *winks*

A slight bit of relief washes over us since we’re happy we won’t have to pull an all-nighter on this meal prep. Too bad we couldn’t finish it all then and there. Nope, 4 steaming hot pots of soup had to cool before bagging. So lucky us, the fun continued the next day.

I don’t think I’ll ever run out of hot mess stories to share with you. They just. Keep. Coming.

🍲🥄-TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Shame at School Pickup

I haven’t always been so forward about my hot mess life. Especially when it comes to my daughters school. Do I want them to know that I’m running late whilst throwing an Uncrustable from the frozen section at Costco on my counter? No. I’d prefer to be thought of as the mom who is creating beautiful themed bento box lunches. Prepped fresh at 5AM after my morning workout. A gal can dream…but, who am I kidding?! #teamnosleep doesn’t allow for a life like that.

I retrieve my daughter from the toddler community (Montessori lingo). All the while, juggling my baby as we make the long journey to Black Beauty (my suburban). Long Journey, you ask? Yes. Nothing ever comes fast and easy with the Poulsen Party of 4 (3 since Dad was working).

I prep Peachy Popper (age 2). “There’s the car, walk to the door and climb in.” She takes off running towards the neighboring house. Down a hill, through 2′ thick snow. She takes a mighty tumble, mitten-less. Insanity ensues. Or perhaps, sharp foreshadowing.

I clomp down the hill, wrangling a whiny Baby Chief. Snow getting all in my red Ugg boots, grab crying Peach and head back up the hill to the parking lot. I open the door and we all climb in. I plop Chief in his seat while I clip Peach in. At that point, I start the truck with my auto start from my key fob. I hop out to walk around to fasten the baby in.

*SLAP* My hand slips off the door handle. *STOMACH SINKS* You guessed it. My doors are locked. My keys?! Sitting cozy on the open seat next to Peach. Toddler clipped in, mobile baby not. Insert- PANIC. Mind you, it’s approximately 10 degrees outside. Nothing left to do but call my personal “emergency responder” (husband). His response, “call the cops.” Thanks dude.

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Here’s the proof to set the scene. My view from the outside in.

I succumb to the inevitable and dial 9-1-1. At this point, other toddler moms are seeing that I’m having a serious struggle happen. One even stops to take my photo, “for the blog”. Haha. The principal even comes outside to check on me. Delivering a coffee. (Reason 100 why I love that school). As I wait for the police I just pray my baby doesn’t flip out of his seat. He’s a wild buck and he thought this was thrilling and hilarious.

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Lovely…

The cop arrives and insists that things like this happen constantly. I don’t feel too bad… he even lets me snap a pic of him! LOL. Honestly, this dude was comical and I want him to come over for dinner. I just hope he likes frozen lasagne. *winks*

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As much as I’d like to keep up appearances, it’s seems like I’m already super successful living up to my name, Totally Blessed Hot Mess. Now the school moms and faculty have confirmed their suspicions. #ownit?

👮‍♂️ 🔐 🤦🏻‍♀️- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Minneapolis Parking

As promised from my blog post on ‘Sota-Pop!, here’s the Hot Mess that found me during that excursion. If it’s not clear, I’m a suburban mama. Not only do I drive a Chevrolet Suburban, I live in the suburbs of Minneapolis, MN. I frequent Costco and Target donned in 1 of my 5 pairs of Ugg boots. If you’ve been following my blog for a while you may have caught on to the fact that I’m not a great driver. Let us not forget my parking…

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Do you want to practice parking? What’s the point? Everywhere you go has valet.- Cher, Clueless

Living in the suburbs, I play it safe while parking Black Beauty (BB) on the far end of buildings. I don’t want any parking lot fender benders. Even more importantly, I don’t want to call my husband aka “Emergency Responder” in the event that we get in a little situation. Needless to say, a day trip to downtown Minneapolis during the Super Bowl 52 weekend was risky.

I invited my mother in law along. There was no way I could tackle this mission alone with 2 toddlers. No way! We conveinently left at nap time to make matters extra smooth (sarcasm). As my 12 month old was crying, I was trying to pay attention to my GPS.  My Apple Watch vibrated and I swerved over to my exit. WRONG. Up I drive, into a parking ramp. Excuse me? You’re supposed to be a road leading me to Nicollet Mall! We determine this ramp is too far away from the festivities and we need to exit ASAP.

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I shouldn’t even call this a parking ramp. More like LABYRINTH as my MIL declared it! No joke, this structure was designed to be puzzling. It takes so long to find the exit it racks up your time hence charging you more. Can you say conspiracy?! Exit to the right…AKA take another few loops around. Finally we emerge. Determined to find closer, affordable parking we trudge on.

Through my dirty windshield, pedestrians and clustered autos, we see a sign for ‘$7 PARKING’. Figuring this is the best we can get for Super Bowl 52 event parking, I enter through the thick automatic doors. My palms start to sweat as it looks dangerously tight for BB to wiggle through. We creep along the curvy ramp to see vehicles parked like sardines. SMH. It’s a valet ramp. $7 was for the first 30 minutes.

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Actual footage from the valet ramp

We decide to take our chances and look for more affordable parking. Yet, we felt a “hot mess” creeping so we snapped this photo evidence before fleeing as fast as my huge SUV could go. (Slowly…)

Naps and lunch time knocking on my toddlers patience, we try the next closest ramp. Not kidding guys, VALET PARKING. Maybe you’re thinking, “Hilary, you’re bad at parking, valet was made for you!” Well, sure, but I also like to save money for press on manicures, Starbucks and someone else to clean my truck. *winks*

With no more wiggle room on the clock, I agreed for valet. I think for a second, “what are these dudes going to think of my stinky mom-mobile? Ah, screw it. That’s what tips are for!

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We make it to ‘Sota-Pop. Above is a lovely photo of Peach eating some strange Dorito crumbs off a window sill. #HOTMESS. These fiascos were worth it for our fun photo-ops. Memories to last a lifetime, friends.

Before we get back in the truck I ask Peach if she has to pee. “Yes”. Phew we’re gonna make it! I find an employee and they tell me “no toilets. Go out on 6th and blah blah blah”. Dude, seriously. You’re gonna say no to this 2 year old?! Gah! I say a little prayer that we make it home knowing darn well I doubt we can. To complete the Hot Mess, she pees on the way home. *tear*. At that point, my MIL suggests a car potty. WHAT?! How do I seriously not have a car potty?! #momfail.

Another adventure, another hot mess. Nothing stops me!  Or these darn hot messes from our fun.

🚙🏙- TBHM Hilary

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Hot Mess of the Week- Sculpture Garden

Over the summer I went, kids in tow, to meet a friend at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It was a show stopping July morning. Even better? My girl was bringing me Starbucks. #butfirstcoffee. This wasn’t some nose wiping, diaper changing, soggy goldfish cracker eating playdate. No. This was getting together with my single independent girl friend! Maybe I’ll even feel like my old self and slap on a crop top for the occasion. Just kidding guys! Leopard sundress it is. *winks*

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We strolled around the sidewalks admiring all the large sculptures. I briefly wondered where people came up with this stuff. Hmmm. Then I moved on to more important things: Who was my friend dating? Was he a “swipe right” dude? When was her last drunken night? What spontaneous vacation does she have planned? (Of course she had one set.) Greece, at that! Can you blame me, guys? Let this mom live a little. Vicariously anyhow.

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Peach making sure she’s in every on-lookers photo op.
Maybe I painted that picture to sound like a peaceful morning? Sorry to kill your buzz, but remember, my toddler came with. She spent her time practicing parkour over the various monstrosities. She quite literally only removed herself from the above pictured sculpture to pee behind it.

As much as I would have loved to sit and drink a bottle of chilled Rosé, reminiscing about our days when we drove our dad’s lifted trucks (hers bright red Dodge pickup, mine Hummer H2) on lunch break from high school, waving at potential boyfriends, I had to get the toddler home. Because #NapsSaveLives. I hug my friend goodbye and we go our separate ways. As I approach Black Beauty (my suburban), I dig around for my keys to get her unlocked. Beep-beep! I get all my baggage packed up, hop in the driver seat and…KEYS NOWHERE TO BE FOUND. Why me?! Why me?! Can I ever do anything seamlessly? I feel like I literally search everywhere possible. My kids are starting to freak out. I call my friend. “Hi. It’s me, obviously. Yes, problem. No keys. Bring wine.” She drives back and meets us.

During this time I continue to scrounge around for those priceless jinglers. I FIND THEM!!! In my diaper bag pocket. Where I always keep them. SMH. Sweet relief anyway. I slide the key in the ignition. Tick. Click. ITS DEAD. My truck is freaking DEAD.

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Chief & I waiting in Black Beauty playing with Snap Chat filters. What else would we do with our time? 
The way I’m parked up against gardens and sprawling groomed grass there was no way to get a jump with cables. Note to self: always back into a parking space. Much to my chagrin, I dial up husband aka my ” #1 emergency responder”. He says “Sorry, Hily. Can’t help ya.” he was basically in Wisconsin, bringing home the bacon. He does remind me however, “call the roadside assistance!”.

They arrive with a fancy-schmancy little jump start thing. My girlfriend and I both ask where we can get one of those. Turns out we’d have to be prepared enough to keep the device charged. Yeah, not happening. Way kill our mellow, Progressive Roadside Assistance Man.

Are you seeing a theme with my Hot Mess stories? Yep. I wouldn’t be opposed to anyone starting a Go-Fund me for a luxury car upgrade with keyless entry and start. Or perhaps, a personal assistant that is strictly responsible for my keys. Birthday gift?

🏙🍒🥄-TBHM Hilary

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