Tuesday, March 29, 2011

great roast beef, great.

this post will be a fragmented rambling post of my thoughts and whatnot. here we go.


-When I have a kid and it's their birthday party and they go to blow out all the candles and after like, five minutes they are still struggling I am just gonna let them keep going at it. I'm not gonna help them blow it out behind their back so they think they did it, I'm just gonna watch them struggle--it builds character, right? And if it's like ten minutes later and they look a little faint I'll just pat them on the head and say, "We'll get 'em next time kid."
great roast beef. the peak of my chubby stage right there.
-Home videos are bittersweet. My uncle just droppd off a bunch of home videos and while I love remembering and looking at my younger self, it's also just really sad. 1. Because so much has changed. 2. Because I was a straight up fat kid from ages 9-11. It's embarrassing, slightly endearing, and mostly sad. And as if being chubby wasn't bad enough, my two little sisters are so delicate and blonde and beautiful, and here I come, chubby with short brown hair and thick eyebrows. And then in the one video it's New Years' Eve and we're all eating, and I'm freaking NINE YEARS OLD and I go, "Great roast beef, great!" to the camera all excited--I'm nine and I'm critiquing the food. And my voice is super raspy (it always is) but...like, come on. I am a 90 year old stuck in a 9 year old's body. It doesn't end there. Later when we are all opening presents I get a pair of velour sweatpants and I am not kidding when I say I literally squeal, hold them out and say "Yes I love them! I know they're gonna fit because they're all stretchy and everything!!!!!" Then I cuddle the pants and literally go, "Heeheehee."

............

I'm nine and I'm excited about velour sweatpants because they are stretchy so they will fit me. Hmmm. Watching my younger self, I realize I don't care much. In fact, back then I was so happy and wasn't even aware that I was a little butterball. And I think that's good. I think about how my mom never let me feel anything other than pretty and I realized heck, velour sweatpants were really comfortable anyway.

us ladies for laura's 21st.

-I went to Boston this weekend with six other people to surprise my best friend for her 21st birthday. It was beyond fun--seriously, the best weekend I've had in awhile. Boston is gorgeous, we danced a lot and just laughed a  lot too. It was quite an adventure. On the way home I got to sit next to one of my best guy friends and we got on the subject of religion and my faith. And he started asking really hard, really good questions and I realized how much I love talking about this kind of stuff with people, how deeply in love I am with Jesus. It also put a desire on my heart to just enrich my mind historically and biblically--to learn more about the bible so I can deepen the level of debate/discussion. I don't just want my relationship with God to be emotional or spiritual--I want it to be logical too, which it is, but I want to make sure I know the facts. Nah mean?

-Now 5 is the best Now CD.

little heartbeat. my cat Gizmo before he struggled with obesity.

-I have realized lately that I love little heartbeats. I know writing about this will make me seem extremely girly, but seriously, THEY ARE SO CUTE. You dare to argue? Go pick up a puppy or a cat and feel the little heartbeat and your own heart will melt. Seriously. It's the cutest freaking thing ever. A baby's heartbeat? Double adorbs because they're human and overall I like humans better than animals. But seriously. Little heartbeats. Cutest. Thing. Ever.



Thursday, March 24, 2011

I'm a snowfall kinda girl


Listening to this song as it is raining gently outside and sipping my coffee....well, I like it very much.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

the lies of boy bands

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It's a cool night, a little too much on the cool side. Maybe six to eight degrees warmer and it'd be waterice worthy, and the setting sun would go just perfectly with the sticky fingers that come along with a Rita's medium Lemon waterice as I lean back in my car, the traffic inching by.


But it's not warm and I'm driving and N*Sync's 'This I Promise You' begins to blare through my speakers and my little sister and I turn to each other and begin belting the song out, loving the nostalgic feelings that come with squeaky boy bands with bleached crunchy curls and gyrating hips that my then ten year old self didn't quite understand.


And then it hits me. Boy bands are liars. Well, maybe not so much the band as the songwriters, but it's just a bunch of straight up BS blaring through my speakers as we roll down the windows, laughing at how we remember each and every word and amazed we once took this music so seriously.


As I was listening to the lyrics of the song, I realized how it's just a piece of crap. Like, it's not true. The lines being fed to preteen girls are outrageous. And listen, I love boy bands. I loved Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Five, and I squealed/shrieked/almost fainted when, in my freshman year of NYU, I attended a cabaret with a performance track I was in and realized none other than Ashley Parker Angel from O-Town was sitting just a row away from me.  So I get it. My second concert (my first was Linkin Park...hahaha) was N*Sync. And it was awesome.


But today when I was driving I realized how little girls are just straight up fed lies. These particular lyrics in the song interest me:


"I'll be your strength,
I'll give you hope,
Keeping your faith when it's gone
The one you should call,
Was standing here all along..

And I will take
You in my arms
And hold you right where you belong
Till the day my life is through
This I promise you"



I guess I just have issues here. If this song came out now and I listened to it as a 21 year old, I wouldn't really care much for it. But back then, listening to it when I was like, 12 or something, of course I clung to it. What girl doesn't want to believe boys truly feel those things? And I'm not saying THEY DON'T. There's awesome men out there. But actually, high school relationships and relationships in general are a lot of damn work. 


Girls are constantly fed these storylines from songs, from movies, from books. Just look at 'Twilight.' I don't even want to start on my hate for 'Twilight' but it is seriously disturbing how many little girls are absolutely obsessed with this series. And what is the main point about the series? How vital it is to have a boyfriend. Bella and Edward have this obsessive love where, when Edward leaves Bella in one of the books (the 3rd I think) she literally becomes self-destructive. She even passes up acceptance to Dartmouth. It's depressing.


I'm not cynical and I'm not a love-hater. I love love. Romantic love, family love, friendship love. Any kind. I'm just saying little girls shouldn't wait around for a guy described in the song above or a guy like Edward. Instead they should see that they already have a guy who's madly in love with them. And his name is Jesus and he is Lord and Savior.


When I look back at those lyrics and I think about them in terms of God, I am blown away. Because that is truth. I'm not bashing relationships. I'm not saying everyone should be single. I'm just saying that I wish when I was a 12 year old girl I would have known that the Creator of the Universe knew my name and loved me. He loved my frizzy hair, my smile when I ate a chocolate chip cookie. He loved my obsession with books, he loved my recoiling at drinking and partying and cussing. He loved me when girls were mean, or my parents fought--he even loved me when I conformed to the masses of other 12 year old girls and wore the same clothes as them to fit in. He LOVES me. My heart aches for little girls out there who don't know this, who are still on that cusp of innocence and haven't yet been tempted to buy that short skirt or listen to Kesha or watch anything that isn't a cartoon and don't understand the purpose of mascara. 


I don't know how to end this post because I don't really know what it means. I guess it just means maybe God put that demographic on my heart for a reason....to pray for them, to work with them one day. Not sure. Anyway. I'll end with a quote from John F. Kennedy



"A child miseducated is a child lost." John F. Kennedy


Truth, JKed. So much truth. 


Love & good quotes & Twilight hate (always),
Nina.

Monday, March 21, 2011

looking out for me all day everyday

God's got our back all day, every single day. I truly believe that with all my heart. It's easy to forget this, but then something happens and you pause mid coffee sip, or in the moment at the stoplight or in the midst of talking to a friend and you think, Yes. He's really got my back. And I'm amazed.


I am amazed I am amazed I am amazed.

Leaning on the Lord.
I need You I need You I need You.
Two days ago I found out some bad news that made me realize again how God is constantly looking out for me. And it made me think about how sometimes really bad things happen to us. We go through situations that hurt our hearts...we lose trust in people...friendships deteriorate, people betray us, we don't get the job we want, we are dissatisfied with our lives. But then maybe a month or two years later something happens and it's like little pieces of a puzzle all come together and we think Yes. Okay, now I get it God. Sorry for doubting You. My bad. Seriously.


I just want to encourage everyone to truly believe that God won't leave you hanging. And I mean that in a specific way--I mean that obeying the Lord is what is best. Sometimes listening to God is scary. And sometimes God wants you to do something that in our small perspective is not at all what we want and we can't see it being ideal....ever. But God is our Rescuer. He knows what He's doing, especially when we don't.

I am in love with lone trees. Just one tree in an empty field melts my heart completely. If I ever got a tattoo I would definitely get a tree. For awhile I was obsessed with drawing a lone tree with lots of branches, a little path leading up to the tree and footsteps. I love thinking of God as that tree. Strong, with roots extending and never wavering. I have to remind myself constantly that God is constant. To put it in the words of a corny little saying (who doesn't love corny little sayings?) 'God is real no matter how you feel.' And it's true. Sometimes I get mad at God, or upset, or I think I'm too cool for God. And then I realize how much of an idiot I am and that God's love is never wavering, always real, always tangible, always surrounding me. I don't deserve it and it's there--BAM. Alive.

We need to lean on God and believe, 100% that God loves us, is listening to us, and He won't leave us alone.

Love & leaning on lone trees,
Nina.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

eh-eh-eh snarky.

I'm in a snarky mood. This usually results from too little sleep, not enough coffee, and running a lot of errands. So this blog post is going to have a hint of snarkiness to it. But, you know, that's life. Right? Sometimes we are chipper and sometimes we just want to punch a really thin wall for the satisfaction of crushing said wall.

I'm always amused when girls post profile pictures on facebook of them with like, a ton of cleavage, or in a bikini with their arms in front of their face that's like "Noooo, don't take my picture!" Which is just hilarious since they put it as their default pic. And then we, women, still have the bolas to get angry when men talk about girls in a way that isn't necessarily respectful. But it's like, okay ladies--don't put yourself out their to be oogled (sp? word?) and then be like, "Oh I am a woman hear me ROAR!" Nah mean?!

It's a problem I have with celebrities who are all like, "Ima use my sexuality as power. So me in that bikini washing that car, dripping wet and scantily clad? Yeah, that's me sticking it to the man!" Hmmm...not sure I agree with you there. But sure, okay, go for it. I don't know. Being a theater major I witnessed a lot of people getting naked...all the time. Which was awkward for me because I don't know, maybe I don't wanna see you naked? But the minute you tell a class of actors, "Do a five minute piece, anything you want!" people just start stripping. I don't get it. Can someone explain this to me?! Can't you still be "artistic" and "deep" and "edgy" keeping your clothes on?

Gosh, this post is so ... mean? I'm sorry, I'm not trying to be mean at all. Or self-righteous. And I'm sure there will be people who read this and think, "Dang girl, get off your pedestal! Who are you? Judgy McJudgerstein?!"

And you know what? Maybe I am calling girls out on it. But my heart breaks for them. I just want to hug them, tell them listen, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. And wonderfully made. And UNIQUE. There is no one on this earth LIKE YOU. So celebrate being you and--cover up a little! I don't know. It breaks my heart for women in general--and I'm definitely guilty of it at times myself. Heck, I wear bikinis! I LIKE bikinis. There ain't nothing wrong with bikinis! But I think it's where my heart is that matters. Like, there definitely is satisfaction in male attention. No doubt. But I don't want to live like that. I don't want other girls to live like that. We shouldn't, you know?

Will I lose followers over this post? Maybe. But you know, words are words. So I'ma use 'em.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

where have all the nice guys gone?

Probably to an island somewhere far away after girls, who claim they love nice guys, turn them down for a jerk instead. I think this is an interesting concept. I was having coffee with a friend a little while ago and we were talking about how, theoretically, nerdy/geeky/awkward guys are the ideal kind of men, especially in movies and television. When I think about my "celebrity crushes" it's guys like Jay Baruchel, Andrew Garfield, Zachary Levi--guys who are skinny or nerdy and who play underdogs mostly. Well except for Mr. Garfield who will be the new 'Spiderman' which is just totally...awesome. But anyway. My friend and I realized something though. In real life our logic is totally, 100% faulty. I can attest to this from personal experience. A year ago while in my junior year at NYU I met this really tall, handsome and quite nerdy guy. We started talking and found out we lived pretty close to each other back home. So over winter break, he asked me if I wanted to hang out. I was really excited because 1. He was cute. 2. He was a new friend. New friends are exciting. Especially male, tall, charmingly geeky new friends. But then he asked me to go to "The Mint." Stop--pause--WHAT?! Coffee, sure. A movie? Great, no awkward talk. Heck, I'd even take the Franklin Institute because that jawn is FUN! But...but The Mint?! Where they produce...coins? I told him I was sick and canceled the hang out. Lame? Maybe. But I totally just (and rather immaturely) freaked out and we stopped talking altogether.

See, this is where the whole paradox comes in over what Hollywood presents as real life and what actually IS real life. If in a movie a nerdy but cute guy asked the girl to go to a MINT, it would be endearing and they would have a really awesome time to which they would probably fall in love. Translate this scenario into REAL life? And it's just awkward, a little creepy and not charming at all. 

I'm sure the guy had the best intentions, and you know, it probably would have been fun. But I was immature, nervous, and just reacted how I did. So how come in my brain, when I watch movies I always root for the underdog, always fall for the guy no girl wants? But in REAL life, it just doesn't work like that?

It's so interesting to think about. I'm not saying I write off the nice guys. I LOVE nice guys.  Heck, I don't LIKE the badboys at all. I'm just saying, that one situation made me laugh at myself because I'm such a hypocrite.
Jay Baruchel being all studly.
So you know what? Whenever I catch myself saying "Where the heck are all the nice guys out there?!" I have to stop myself because I need to remember there are good guys out there still, no matter how many jerks I encounter. I just have to open my eyes a little more. Or something. And know that there are a lot of Godly men out there.

This blog makes no sense! I blame it on my melancholy heart after hearing that Jay Baruchel is engaged. Alas, that's just the way it is. Sometimes it's just fun to write about what's runnin' through my mind.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Quitting the GLEE club

I never quite know how I feel about Glee. I like some of the covers they do. Like the acapella 'Teenage Dream'...definitely makes my heart melt. And Chord Overstreet singing 'Baby' by Justin Biebz...okay, you win there Chord even though I can't take your name seriously. But after tonight's episode I really think I might stop watching it.

Glee, I get it. You are edgy. You push lines. It used to be cool, but when you make fun of people who choose celibacy, it's just...really lame. Like I said I get it. Glee defends homosexuality which is awesome. No one should be bullied. It's horrible. I am all about standing up for people. But if you're going to stand up for homosexuality, could you stand up for celibacy too? As someone who is waiting until marriage, I was pretty offended with tonight's episode. I don't get it. There is nothing wrong with NOT having sex. Why did Glee make it seem like you were a freak if you didn't want to have sex?

I just have issues there. I'm all about sexual education. It's very important. But I'm also all about just...not making fun of anyone. And don't even get me started on the Christian stereotypes so prevalent in television and film. Like, can I just for ONCE see a character who is a Christian and who isn't a complete pyscho, bigot, hypocrite, cruel human being? It's just backwards. The way Christians are portrayed in the media is totally the opposite of how Jesus lived His life. And listen, I GET IT. Christians have screwed up. A lot. But the scripture says follow JESUS not CHRISTIANS.

This just makes me realize all the more how passionate I am about working in the film industry.

I really don't want this blog post to be offensive to anyone, but I feel very strongly about these things. I just wish there could be a show that didn't make fun of anything. But I guess people would get pretty bored of that fast, right? Sucks.

Monday, March 7, 2011

midnight blogging

I am craving summertime. Brooke Fraser's 'There's Something in the Water' is playing and it makes me want to fall in love and dance around barefoot. Actually, we can skip the falling in love. Just give me a hammock, a balmy evening and a glass of grape juice and I'll pretend it's red wine (I hate red wine) and I'll let my hair all loose and do a little writing and listen to the crickets hum hum into the evening.

Gosh, this woman can create music. Seriously. Go to youtube and look up that song. It'll make you smile, crave spring and summer and warm weather and good things.

<--One day I'd love to come home to fresh flowers. Pretty. 


I want to live in a firework. I know logistically, this wouldn't work out but it'd be awesome to wake up every morning to sparkling lights. I think I'd also just have a major headache all the time.

I'm going to force my child to play the violin. 

I went to church by myself the other day and it was really cool. I know people go to church by themselves all the time, but I actually never have. It was awesome. I saw some people I knew which was lovely but I genuinely loved driving there alone, sitting and just really praying and talking to God. Sometimes I feel like inside my head is a really spastic television and a five year old who just downed a bottle of 5-Hour-Energy is controlling the remote. I especially have this issue right before I go to bed--a thousand and one thoughts pass through my mind and I literally can't fall asleep. And it happens a lot when I talk to God. I talk to God all day long because I'm not really one to like, kneel beside my bed at nighttime and have a long list of prayer. it's kind of like, all day prayer, if that makes sense. But at church, alone, I really noticed how hard it was for me to just sit and relax. 

I think so often I hate relaxing and clearing my mind because I'm afraid of what I'll find. I'm afraid that I'll be able to hear so clearly what God is telling me and that actually really scares me, even though it's what I so desperately want in my heart. Does that make sense? Sometimes I'd rather just sit in the snowy static of the TV channels then have to confront what I wish I could sweep under the rug. But God loves us too much to let us dwell in that static for too long.

Tonight I had coffee and curly fries (when you eat a curly fry and take a sip of coffee it tastes like a hotdog, FYI) at a diner with my friend Jeane and once again I'm blown away by the gift of friendship. Jeane and I met in 8th grade and became best friends after I invited her to see one of the Harry Potter films with me. I think it was 'The Chamber of Secrets.' Wow, I feel so old. Jeane's been one of my best friends since I was 13 and I still can't believe that we are so close. It makes me realize the power of quality over quantity. The other night I told her that I am so grateful I still have her in my life and it really is something. I don't know, when you find a true friend it is very special.

This blog is a fragmented thought kind of blog. Hopefully tomorrow I'll find some better inspiration but for right now I just want to jump into Brooke Fraser's music and hang out there awhile.

Love & Coffee, Curly Fries, and best friends,
Nina



Thursday, March 3, 2011

props to mommas

You know when you're like, 18 and you say things like, "I'm gonna be the COOL mom when I have kids! Heck yeah!" But then, actually, whenever you babysit or if you have younger siblings you totally do a 180 from that sentence and you realize, yes, you are going to be exactly like your parents.

I was at Starbucks with my wonderful friend Jeane not too long ago and we were talking about this and how funny it is. I was recently babysitting an almost 1 year old and an almost 4 year old. And I realized just how hard moms really do have it. My first instinct whenever I get to babysit, especially little kids that I know and love, is "Oooh yay! I'm excited! Cute babiess!!!" But then I realize just how freaking....paranoid I am. Like suddenly everything turns into a choking hazard. That huge, squishy ball that is double the size of a baby and has no pointy edges? Well, gosh, he could somehow learn to walk in the five seconds I turn to the other kid, jump on the ball, and go crashing down the steps. Or that dollhouse the almost 4 year old loves? Well it could suddenly topple over and jump like, four feet, even though the little baby is way, WAY far away from it. When I was babysitting the other day I decided in my head that when I have kids, I am just living in a padded house. Like legit. That way, I can nap, do work, cook and my baby can just roam the house as he/she wants. Is that ridiculous? Maybe.

What I'm trying to say with this post is whoever said a stay-at-home mom didn't have a hard job should try it. Because it is freaking HARD. I don't know how my mom did it for so many years when we were little, or how women do it at all. It's amazing. I totally, 100% want to stay home with my kids when they are little when I have them, but gosh it is hard. I babysat for a mere 2 hours and I was both mentally and physically exhausted. Can you imagine ALL. DAY.?

Don't get me wrong. Kids are awesome. I love them. And I love babysitting. But I seriously have a new appreciation for moms everywhere. If you know a mom, are a mom, or see a mom in the near vicinity, go up to them and salute them. Legit.

Anyway. Thanks moms for being awesome. And selfless. And amazing. I love all of you. But mostly my mom because she is so, so cool.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

the power of truly believing

Do you have little treasures in life that you hold onto, little reminders that maybe come alive in an old fortune cookie paper that you carry, or a text from a friend you saved and look at from time to time, or an old book that you read that one summer where you didn't really go out and just lived in that world? I love life's little treasures. They are special, magical and I really think everyone has them even if they don't admit it.

One of my favorite treasures of mine is a letter I wrote to myself in 10th grade. In my English class our teacher had us write each other letters and write ourself a letter and when we graduated she gave them to us so we could read. Not too long ago I found my envelope of letters and was literally shocked when I read the one I wrote to myself. I think I might have almost cried or something (but that could have been because Taylor Swift was playing and really, Taylor just writes those hits). Anyway, here's the letter I wrote myself:

"Dear Nina,
Can you believe it? You've made it. Didn't think it'd fly by so fast, did you? Kind of scary, huh? But you've waited forever for this day. Now you can go out in the world and be everything you have ever dreamed of. Now, you can shine.
        But of course you'll miss it. Especially band. You'll miss band the most, as much as you say you hate it. You'll miss band camp, and the comps. And the plays. You've come along way since Carousel. Did you ever think you'd have so much confidence?
       And you're going to NYU! The school you've always dreamed of. You knew you'd make it. New York City! It's where you belong.
      Kind of crazy how you're still best friends with the same girls. True friends never die. It's crazy, but that's high school, right?
      You never let anything get in your way. And through all the hardships and struggles, you've still come out strong. You never once let anyone else or anything else keep you from being who you truly are! Now it's time to go out into the world and continue your journey.
        Just remember:
        Look closer. You'll find the true beauty in life. For that is what your life is: beautiful.
        Love,
       Myself
       Nina"

Aahaha, a lot of this makes me laugh because I was so dramatic and really, I still am. But every single word in this letter is true, which just blows my mind. Especially the NYU part. Okay, that was bold of my 15 year old self. I had no idea if I would get into NYU and to be honest the chances were completely stacked against me. But it happened and I just...wow. I loved reading that a year ago. And I also loved reading about how I'm still friends with the same girls. Which is true. Melanie and Jeane and Laura are still three of my best friends. How awesome? God, you are sooooo good.

This letter to myself makes me realize how I can't let myself ever stop dreaming. How none of us can stop dreaming. That sounds so corny and way too optimistic, but I'm sick of shooing away my optimism because the world says it's funny and cool to be sarcastic and bitter. I was 15 and I was dreaming away and so many of those dreams came true. That is reality. I love that. I didn't even know Jesus when I wrote this yet I could see God alive in me, before I even knew it. That amazes me. That is how big God is and I always underestimate Him. Crazy, crazy. I'm all about positive thinking even though it is really hard. Sometimes it's just way too much effort to think good thoughts. But I have to remember the power of believing, of trusting in God because God loves us so much.

I was recently talking to my sister about how God isn't about circumstance. I love this. So often I think in my head 'What is God's plan for me? Is it to move far away? Is it to stay near my family? Is it this career, or that?' But God isn't about circumstance. God just promises to walk with me every step of my life. I love that. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. God literally promises to just walk through life with me. What a gift!!! How beautiful. How precious. So I guess, wherever you are in life, remember God is walking with you and that is truly something. Love.

Love & how remembering when you were fifteen and how good it felt to just dream,
Nina.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"I shoulda known.."

Have you ever been in a relationship that has ended and you look back on it and you realize the moment when you should have known the end wouldn't be pretty? I love these moments. I'm talking specifically about dating...because usually in that context, it's funny. Now I know I say 'I love these moments' and that might sound a little...depressing, because who likes when relationships go wrong? But actually, I think finding humor in sucky situations is an amazing thing. The ability to truly laugh in life is just the best. I love laughing. It really is a medicine. Anyway. I was once with someone (who shall remain nameless) who wasn't impressed with this song. It's John Butler's 'Ocean' (John Butler Trio). My little sister Christina once showed me the song and told me how she cried the first time she heard it, and the minute I listened to it I fell in love. So I youtubed it for this person that I was with and I remember dancing around, literally just full up to the brim with joy!!! Especially toward the end of the song when he goes just...crazy on the guitar. It made me want to be wearing a long skirt in a meadow under a blue sky in another world, literally just dancing around, and then running on the beach screaming so loud that my voice and the waves are mixed all together--
"Cool."
That was what he said. Actually, that's giving him the benefit of the doubt. I'm pretty sure he just grunted or something, ignoring me. A month later we broke up. And today, when I was cleaning out my bookshelves getting ready to sell a bunch of stuff on Amazon, I was blaring this song and as I held my old beat-up copy of Catch 22 in my hands I thought, "Yep. Shoulda known then."

It makes me laugh because it's silly and really, really true.
I think that's all for today. Go listen to that song and just smile, take a drive, drink iced coffee...it's a good day.
Love & really good songs that make you want to dance around by the ocean,
Nina.