Creating “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?  What is wonderful to one person may be perceived as a disaster to another.  One person may see Christmas as something dreadful to endure and the person next to them may experience it as a season of love, peace and magic.

The beauty of it – We each create the holiday we experience by what we choose to focus upon!  Yup – when you live a “Come to the Edge Today” life, that’s all there is for determining how this holiday will turn out.  Circumstances that surround us are just circumstances.  There may be sadness, heartbreak and disappointment while in the same moment, there is also love, peace, joy and a million other gifts. All are present and it is our free choice to decide where to focus.  (Such a gift we have been given – the gift to choose!)

Today’s “leaping” exercise: 

Here is the recipe for creating “Your Most Wonderful Time of the Year”:

1.  Decide which aspects of the holiday you want and intend to experience (Examples:  I intend to see and experience joy, or I want to experience gratitude, or I intend to see and experience kindness, or participate in bringing Christmas cheer to others, etc.)

2.  Believe that opportunities to experience these aspects will frequently present themselves

3.  Intend to recognize and act upon the opportunities when they present themselves:  “Today, no matter where I am going or what I am doing, it is my intention to see and experience these aspects

4.  Expect to see evidence of these aspects.   Anticipate opportunities to experience them

5.  Be open to the unexpected

6.  Commit to creating your most wonderful holiday no matter the circumstances

7.  Relax!  Allow yourself to enjoy the creation of your Christmas and New Year!

8.  Live knowing that your life is lived moment by moment!  As you purposely live these moments based upon the aspects you have chosen to experience, they will build and grow and blossom –  not just at Christmas or New Years, but every moment of every day.

May you “Come to the Edge” this season and choose to experience the gladness of Christmas which is hope, the spirit of Christmas which is peace and the heart of Christmas which is Love!

Enjoying my most wonderful time of the year – Joan Kappes

YouTube:  Christmas:  The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (used for educational purposes only)

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

I Need a Silent Night

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“I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and the noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night” – Amy Grant

It’s mid-December:  The calendars are filled with activities, traditions, holiday “to do” lists (in addition to the regular to do lists).  The hours speed by and the “want to” and “have to” activities linger in the back of our minds waiting for the time when they are  checked off on the never ending “to do” list.

Oh yes, then there is the “wouldn’t it be nice” list:  Relaxing, doing nothing but watching the lights on the tree, listening to holiday music, enjoying the decorations, the food, taking time to be with family, recognizing and savoring the love and joy that cleverly appear in our day.  Have these too, become just another list of things that need to be fit into my already packed month?

How do I experience my Silent Night, my Holy Night?  How do I hear the angel’s voice and experience the midnight clear?

The Silent Night, the Holy Night, the Well-Being that we seek has already been given and it is found within.  Repeat:  It has already been given and it is found within!

Ok, so how to begin (or continue) to unwrap and experience these gifts?  It’s actually very simple:  Allow yourself “Silent Night/Holy Night” time twice each day.  Here’s how:

Today’s “leaping” exercise:

Begin your “Silent Night/Holy Night” time by slowly breathing at least 5-10 deep breaths before listening, reading or writing.  (Note:  This step is very important because it allows your mind, body and spirit to slowdown, regroup and refocus!)

Commit to spend a minimum of 15 minutes at the beginning and 15 minutes at the end of each day specifically focusing upon one thing that gives you peace and joy.  Some ideas:  Music***, inspirational readings, silence, journaling, etc.  Only you know what gives you peace and joy so just choose one and stay with it during that time period.  You may choose the same topic or choose a different one for the next 15 minute section.  As time goes on, you will be inspired and will find additional readings, music or ideas for deepening your – let’s call it “Silent Night/Holy Night” time.  The purpose of this time is to focus and receive peace and joy and experience the well-being that is You.  That’s all – just to allow yourself the time to experience joy, peace and well-being!  If you have time in the middle of the day to gift yourself with another “Silent Night/Holy Night” time, then do it!  This small amount of time will reframe your outlook on those “to do” lists.  You will be invigorated and now have the opportunity to approach those wanted (and unwanted) tasks with a new outlook and a new sense of purpose to the season.  Sound simple?  It is!  Allow yourself the time to experience peace and joy – Experience a “Come to the Edge Today” Christmas!

Silence IS really Golden –Joan Kappes

dreamstime_xs_22083187 (1)Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

You Tube – I Need a Silent Night – used for educational purposes only

Breath of Heaven – Breath of Life

Today, during this season of gifts, let us unwrap the gift that literally brings us life:  The breath of heaven, our breathing.

It is a gift designed for automatic pilot.   If not, we could’t  function, create, work or play.  Breathing, in one sense is designed to be taken for granted, yet at Come to the Edge Today, we know there is much more to be unwrapped.

Breathing gives us more than continued physical life (a wondrous gift indeed!).  Breathing is the pathway which gently leads us from our mind (the place where we most frequently live) to the wisdom and wholeness of our heart, the place where the “bigger you” really dwells.  This is this place we long for and breathing can bring us there – quickly.

Come, experience something new!  Take the “leap” and allow this gift to lead you to your heart.

Today’s “leaping” exercise:  To begin, let us just “experience” breathing!  As we become familiar with it, we can trust it and as we trust, it will become easy for us to move from the mind and travel to the heart.

Allow yourself 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted, quiet time.  Turn off phones, music, tv, etc. – anything that will distract you.  Sit or lay in a comfortable position.  During these moments, simply focus on your breathing.  Feel your chest rise and fall.  Hear your breathing.  Feel the breath upon your face as you exhale.  Just notice what is happening.  Spend 3-5 minutes just noticing these things.  (Note, these are just guidelines – do what feels right to you).  Next, as you breathe deeply, focus on how this breathing is affecting your body.  Notice, as you breathe, that your body is relaxing.  Feel  your shoulders drop.  Feel the tension leave.  Imagine the oxygen flowing to all parts of your body.  Feel the pulsing of life moving through your fingers, your toes, your legs, your arms.  Continue breathing.  Continue focusing on breathing.  If you start to wander and begin creating tomorrow’s “to do” list, gently bring yourself back and focus only upon your breathing.

Enjoy the feeling and experience of it!  Soon, you will have left the busyness of your mind and you will be peacefully dwelling in your heart.  Once there, you will not “think” from your mind.  You will “experience” life from your heart.  Listen to it.  Hear it.  Receive its message.  Wrap yourself in Love.  Continue breathing.  Stay there as long as you’re comfortable, then record the experience and the gifts you received in your journal.

If you are persistent, this pathway of breathing into your heart will soon become part of you.  It may seem a little awkward at first, but then, most leaps taken at “The Edge” are.  Oh, but SO worth it!

Just breathe – Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook and Twitter, etc! Let’s “soar’ together!

25 Thanksgiving Quotes – 25 Experiences of Gratitude

What is it about a grateful heart that feels so good?  Have you noticed that when you appreciate and acknowledge with gratitude the day is brighter?  Have you felt the lightness of your being when you give thanks?  Our hearts open and warm when we see, experience and acknowledge with thanksgiving, the gifts lavished upon us moment-to-moment.

For centuries, millions have felt and used gratitude’s magic and blessings.  Clearly, there is much benefit in its use or so many would not have shared their experiences!

Today I want to share with you thoughts and experiences of 25 “Come-to-the-Edge-Today” people who directly experienced the power of gratitude in their lives.

Today’s “leaping exercise”:  Notice the call to action in their description.  Be mindful of their thankfulness for the gift of gratitude.  Connect with the energy behind the words.  Feel the warmth and openness.  Slowly read each person’s experience.  Print a copy and place a star next to those comments that most resonate with you, or write them in your journal.  Read them often.  Next, write your thoughts and experiences of how the power of gratitude has gifted you.  If you have yet to experience this, write an intention for beginning to use it daily.  (It won’t take long for its magic to show up!)

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around” – Willie Nelson

“Whenever we are appreciative, we are filled with a sense of well-being and swept up by the feeling of joy” – M.J. Ryan

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy – they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom” – Marcel Proust

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them” – John F. Kennedy

“Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don’t unravel” – Author Unknown

“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude” – Benjamin Disraeli

“Gratitude is the memory of the heart” – Jean Baptiste Massieu

Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name” – 1 Chronicles 29:13

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder” – G.K. Chesterton

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you’, it will be enough” – Meister Eckhart

“Gratitude is the best attitude” – Anonymous

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks” – Saint Ambrose

“People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering… Now, let us acknowledge the wonder of our physical incarnation— that we are here, in these particular bodies, at this particular time, in these particular circumstances. May we never take for granted the gift of our individuality” – Saint Augustine of Hippo

“We owe thankfulness to God, not sour faces” – Rumi

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” – Psalm 107:1

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul” – Rabbi Harold Kushner

“Gratitude: A lively sense of future benefit” – A French Definition

“Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better” – Matthew Henry

“He enjoys much who is thankful for little; a grateful mind is both a great and a happy mind – Thomas Secker Archbishop of Cantebury

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul; and the heart of man knoweth none more fragrant” – Hosea Ballou

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul” – Henry Ward Beecher

“The best way to show my gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems, with joy” – Mother Teresa

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer” – Maya Angelou

 

Thankful for sharing this journey at “The Edge” with you –Joan Kappes

Subscribe to “Come to the Edge Today” to receive (via email) life-changing ‘how-to’s, inspiration, insights and as always, the invitation from Life to ‘Come to the Edge Today!’ so you can finally live your life in joy! See column at the right of this page where it says “Subscribe to Come to the Edge Today!”.  Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”.  Your privacy is protected and respected. Connect on Facebook /  Twitter / Linked-In / Come to the Edge Today! Radio Show / Life Coaching

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

 

Imagine Connecting With Love’s Flow!

Imagine…….

Imagine connecting…………..

Imagine connecting with Love’s 24/7 flow…………

Let’s “Come to the Edge Today” and find out how!

In “What is Prayer, Really?” I shared that for me, prayer is the receiving of unconditional Love given continuously by God/All-That-Is/Source.  Prayer is creating the space to receive and flow this amazing, sought after Love.

Sounds good!  Yet how do I put myself in a place so I can be aware of it and receive it?  (From a Come to the Edge Today viewpoint, a life-changing place to be!)

This requires a leap in:  1) Believing that I am worthy to receive 2) Intentionally developing new habits of thought and awareness so I am able to recognize and experience the Love that continually flows to me.

Habits are just thoughts you keep thinking.”

How to begin?

New habits need new tools:

Today’s “leaping” exercises:

  1. Let’s begin with the possibility that the above is true.  Take the leap and imagine you are worthy of a 24/7 stream of Love.  Imagine that you are aware of Love flowing through your life; see it, feel it, experience it.  Now Imagine that you can flow it outwards and expand it to others.  This is a good place to begin!

Like any developed, ingrained habit, this will take time. Imagine what it feels like to be worthy.  Imagine what it feels like to be worthy of receiving Love everyday!  Every hour!  Every minute!

  1. Write post-it notes and place “I am worthy”, “I am worthy of Love”, “I am worthy of experiencing Love” everywhere – on the bathroom mirror, in the car, on the fridge, under your pillow, etc.  Remember – you are developing a wonder-filled new habit of thought – a habit that will allow you to receive the greatest gift of a lifetime, the ability to receive unconditional Love (in all its forms)!
  1. Following is my favorite ‘door-opening-Love-allowing’ tool (“When You Say You Love Me” by Josh Groban).  This really helps me develop my “worthiness habit” and to experience the ever-present flow of Love offered so richly from the Lover of All.

Allow 15 minutes of uninterrupted time.  Create a quiet, comfortable place.  Begin quieting your mind and its busy thoughts by breathing slowing, in and out for 10-15 breathes.  Gently allow thoughts to be set aside for a few minutes.  Close your eyes and listen intentionally to the song.  Hear the instruments.  Hear the words.  Feel the energy.  Connect with the Love flowing in, out and through you.

When finished, remain quiet.  Allow yourself to feel the flow of Love coming to you and through you.

Now, listen again.  Intend for even more allowing.  This time, imagine this is a two-way Love song.  God/Source singing and flowing Love to You and You singing and flowing Love to Source.  When, complete, allow yourself to continue flowing the Love.

Record the experience in your journal.   Keep it heart-centered (rather than mind centered).

Coming to believe and know that you are worthy of unconditional Love flowing through you, and then experiencing it with full awareness is the gift (and habit and the prayer) of a lifetime!* –Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook and Twitter, etc! Let’s “soar’ together!

*I dedicate this to Sue, Karen and all of us who are coming to experience the Love that continually flows to us and through us.  Hooray for coming to know we are worthy!!!”

Photos courtesy of TinyPic  Video courtesy of YouTube

 

11/11/11: A Gift of One

Today is the much anticipated 11/11/11.  Some believe that a powerful event will occur.  Others believe it is an extra special day for the spirit world to interact with humans.  Some believe it is a day for prayer.  And for others, it is a day containing a bunch of ones – 11/11/11, 11:11 am, 11:11 pm.

Over the past few years, the number “eleven/eleven” has become a daily reminder that I am deeply loved and cared for.  I am grateful for this symbolic reminder each time I see it (which, I must tell you, is quite often!).  The other day, however I noticed that these numbers are more than just a series of “elevens”.  What I saw was a series of  “ONEs”.  (No coincidence that in the past year I have been discovering and experiencing the magic and the power of this (new-to-me) reality that All-Is-One and that Love is One.)

Pondering this new view of 11/11/11 I recalled the following:

“Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One (from Deut. 6:4 and the great Jewish prayer, Shema Yisrael)

Albert Einstein’s insatiable quest – his “Unification” Theory of the universe that somehow everything is connected (now called “The String Theory”)

Quantum Physics now shows us that everything is connected- there is no separation

“I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word so that they may all be One, as you are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us…”  – Jesus’ prayer (John 17:20,21)

The gift of ONE.  (More than togetherness and more than just not being alone.)

Being that today is a day filled with “Ones”, I thought it a  perfect time to invite you to spend just One minute (or 11 minutes :)) with me experiencing and spreading the gift of Love, the gift of One.

Here’s what we’ll do:

Take a few, slow deep breaths.  Just relax and close your eyes.  Focus on your breathing so you can quiet your mind chatter for a few minutes.  Imagine that you and I are holding hands.  Feel the energy between us.  Breathe into it.  Now, invite friends and family you would like to join us.  Holding hands, we have now formed a circle.  In this moment, we are One.  Send Love around the circle of these people you dearly love.  Feel it flow from your hand to theirs.  Feel the Love travel around the circle.  Feel the warmth and well-being of it.  Experience the Oneness.

When ready, invite everyone in the circle to send this Love beyond the circle.  Intentionally send this warmth and Oneness outward.  Allow it to expand even more.  See it dance and envelop acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers, strangers, enemies, animals, water, earth, sky and beyond. Remain with it as it continues to expand. Feel it.  Revel in it.   When complete, turn once again to your circle and thank all who have joined you.  Remind each other that “there is more where that came from” and agree to meet often to continue this new gathering of experiencing Love.

THANK YOU!

The gift of 11/11/11 is the gift of receiving, flowing and expanding Love.

It is indeed a day of “One”.

Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook and Twitter, etc! Let’s “soar’ together!

Photos courtesy of TinyPic

 

 

 

What Is Prayer….Really?

Everyone is familiar with the word “prayer”.

“I’ll pray for you”

“Keep me in your prayers”

“Pray for ………”

We all know the word, yet have we experienced its unending and surprising gifts?   Today we are taking a personal look at prayer…..  (Hang on, this is not your traditional “What is Prayer” sermon!)

While in India, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) reflected upon the idea of prayer. This got me thinking.  I asked several friends to contemplate this simple, yet profound question.  Upon completion, new gifts were unfolded for each of us! I’d like to share with you what we received.

Today’s “leaping” exercise- Part 1:  Before continuing, I invite each of you to spend 15 minutes or so, pondering and writing your thoughts on “What is Prayer”?  Writing your valid and insightful thoughts prior to reading others experiences will gift you with seeing your own unique definition.  By clarifying your thoughts at the beginning, you will be able to clearly bring your wisdom and experience to the conversation.  (This is what each of the contributors did and we found it extremely rewarding!)

What is Prayer – Julie Gledhill

When I was younger my idea of prayer was that of a one sided conversation. A wish list given to an all powerful creator who would decide whether or not to grant those requests whether they be for a new item, the health of a loved one, spiritual understanding or world peace !!  As I have awakened to my own power as a co-creator my view of prayer has changed. I now see prayer as a two way communion, as a way of connecting with the spark of the creator in myself. I know that to connect with this part of me it is best to be in alignment with the energy of that divine spark; that is to be in a space of peace, love, joy, freedom, expansion… a space where inspiration can be felt and insights received. I understand that I play a part in the process of bringing forth those things I am asking for… and that to bring those forth I cannot come from a place of disempowerment and lack (which is where some types prayer are focused), but need to have faith/belief and gratitude for all that I have already co-created. So I believe prayer goes by many names. Meditation, contemplation, visualization just to name a few. All are ways of communing with the Creator who is a part of each and every one of us.

 

What is Prayer – Randall Krause

A silent cry of the heart.  An urgent yearning to feel and connect with the Source of life, of healing, of love.  Whispered wishes into the hoped-for ear of Unknowable Mystery.  When all else fails, a hopeful reaching out, beyond my smallness.  Surrender to what is far greater than me.  Trust; ultimate trust.    My heart’s sweet song for her long-lost Home.

 

What is Prayer – Janet Nestor

I believe we are all one – that you and I are one with each other, and one with our God.  In my life,  prayer is an ongoing dialogue, an exchange, a conversation.  Within my prayer conversations I ask questions, listen for answers, make comments, give gratitude, enjoy the spiritual experience of divine love and the feeling of being enfolded in its embrace, ask for guidance, receive insight, ask what is needed from me and listen for the reply.  The contact is instant.  The conversation loving, inspiring, and often very funny.  I can laugh, cry, and express myself just like I would with any trusted family member or friend.  It seems to me that prayer is meant to be ongoing and as natural as talking and breathing.  The God of Creation would never allow you or me to be born into this hectic, sometimes violent world, without the “internal wiring” to Phone Home.  For me, prayer feels like a phone call home.  Prayer is an act of trust and love between a human soul, God and those spiritual beings appointed to love, teach and guide you and me throughout our lifetime.  Just as I believe that prayer is as natural as breathing, I believe that the spiritual acts and interventions that we call miracles are examples of what is possible when we are fully connected and trusting in Spirit.  Miracles happen when we let go and let God.  The necessary state of mind needed for a miracle often comes about during loving, quiet,  prayerful moments.  In those loving, quiet moments there are no limitations and miracles are possible.

 

What is Prayer – Kathleen Rossi

God is no further than our hearts. Gratitude is a silent prayer of Thanks. We are in a constant state of prayer when we are grateful, happy, kind and loving. Words are used in directing this state of being. Words are used to propel the power of our hearts into a specific direction or to a specific person. Words however are not necessary but being in a state of loving intent and being grateful that our intentions will manifest, is critical.
Read Kathleen’s beautiful reflection in its entirety – Click Here

 

What is Prayer – Wren Myers

….Let’s see. So far, prayer is, for me at least, a specific last ditch request for help in response to a perceived problem. So, it’s like the genie coming out of the bottle to grant me wishes, but only if I’m on the edge of the cliff or facing some other deadly peril. If I’m backed far enough into a corner that regular human responses haven’t worked, I go to the superhuman approach. And, of course, the problem has a full head of steam by then and there s no longer the easy fix.  No real surprise that I feel as if I’ve had no great response from my prayers, is it?  Perhaps it would be better if I changed my approach. Maybe I can make prayer as constant as my breathing, as something to apply to all aspects of my life, as a reflection of thanks for the things already done and received. Perhaps I could live from the result of my prayers before I even ask. Perhaps I could be like those who seem to live in a state of wonder all the time.  Sounds like a great plan.  So why haven’t I?…..

Read Wren’s honest and inspiring reflection in its entirety – Click Here (you’ll want to read the conclusion!)

 

What is Prayer” – Joan Kappes

Prayer, for me has been an evolving gift. My prayer experience originated from Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians: “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances (I Thess 5:16-18) These 3 have resonated with me for decades.  When I was young, I was puzzled by “pray constantly” – how do you do that?  Clearly, one cannot recite prayers 24/7!  As I grew, I realized that this kind of prayer goes far beyond words.  My prayer has become a relationship with the Divine.  It is breathing with All-That-Is.  It is communing from the heart.  What I’ve also come to powerfully know is that God is Love.  Prayer, for me is now the receiving of this Love.   Prayer is creating a space to receive Love.  My prayer has become 24/7 and takes many forms.  Traditional worship, words, no words, music, nature, movement, stillness, silence, noise, being in relationship with another, working on a project, meditation, church, no church.  My life has become the prayer…

There is much wisdom in this reflection!  Today’s “leaping” exercise” – Part 2: Spend “prayer time” each day reading and re-reading this post.  See what new gifts unfold for you.  Then, please gift all of us by sharing  your experiences of prayer. Use the comment section below.

Special “Thanks” to Elizabeth Gilbert, Julie Gledhill, Janet Nestor, Randall Krause, Kathleen Rossi, Wren Myers and YOU for Coming to “The Edge” Today!

Prayer – it’s unique.  It’s a gift for all – Joan Kappes

If you would like to regularly “Come to the Edge Today” and receive updated posts via your email, simply subscribe (see column at the right of this page where it says “Enter your first name and email address, then hit submit”). Please share these inspirations with friends on Facebook and Twitter, etc! Let’s “soar’ together!

Photos courtesy of TinyPic