About Me

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I am a twenty-something second year teacher living in the midwest. I am a Christian woman and proud of it! I am the middle child of three girls. I am the proud aunt of the very beautiful Lil E and Lil C!! I love TV, movies, reading, and baseball. I am in my second year of teaching , but my first year teaching kindergarten. It has been quite the journey!

26 September 2011

Teacher Fashion

A few more teacher fashion shots :)
Brown and white dress from Fashion Bug. Magenta tank from Target. Brown wedges from Payless. A gold treble clef necklace with gold hoop earrings.

I actually wore this outfit to church, not school, but that's OK. It is just a plain light blue cami, gray dress from I think T.J. Maxx and a purple cardigan. In the pic I'm wearing two different shoes because I was trying to decide which ones to wear. I went with the blue ones, because I don't get to wear them as often... I wore a silver heart and cool stone pendant together on one silver chain. The heart is from Big Sis's wedding and I got the stone pendant from an etsy shop.

This was a really cute outfit, but I couldn't get a good pic. It was already too dark outside and the lighting wasn't right. It was a purple button-up shirt from some outlet mall. Brown suit pants. Brown plaid shoes. A Bronzey long necklace and this really cute purple and brown plaid flower headband that I just bought this weekend.

I wasn't so jazzed about this outfit when I put it on, but it grew on me. The plaid pants are from Steve and Barry's. The top is from Kohl's (Thanks to the former resident of my apartment who has Kohl's ads/$10 off cards sent in the mail...)I love the way it's tucked and woven and stuff. Hence the shot of that part. The gray tank is from Target. I wore it with some little gray peep-toe shoes. I had a silver and gold flower necklace and some silver hoop earrings.

23 September 2011

Grateful for... My Job

I am hoping to get back into the swing of doing an "I'm Grateful for..." post every Friday. I am so incredibly blessed in my life and I think it's so important to always remember that! Plus they're fun.

This week I am so fantastically grateful for my job. I am truly, truly blessed to be in the position that I am. The teaching market is so tough right now and I am incredibly grateful that I got this job. God definitely had a plan for me and wanted me in this job and he made it happen. I am so thankful that God has a plan for my life and that he is guiding me to where he wants me to be!

I am so grateful that I applied for a 1/2 time preschool teaching job in the district I'm working now. I'm grateful that I got called for my very first teaching interview for that job. I am grateful that my friend D drove over here with me the night before, stayed in a hotel and went to the beach with me after the interview. I am grateful that the interview went well and they were impressed with me. I am grateful that I didn't get the job because I didn't have my ZA endorsement.

I am grateful that they passed my name on to a principal with a third grade opening. I am grateful that I got called for an interview for that job as well. I am grateful that I was pulled out of the pile because of my previous interview. I am grateful that I traveled back over here for a second interview. I am grateful my second interview went well.

I am grateful for the craziness that ensued when they tried to contact my reference who was just arriving home from Alaska. I am grateful that they offered me the position. I am grateful that I accepted.

I am so grateful for this amazing journey the last month and a half has been! I am grateful for my co-workers who have been so incredibly supportive and helpful during my first few weeks. I am grateful for my students and the smiles and notes they give me. I am grateful every time I want to complain, I am grateful for every paper I correct, every student I ask to stop talking, for every smile, every tear (mine and theirs :), every Band-Aid I hand out, I am grateful for every bulletin board I put up, every poster I tape and re-tape a million times, because I am so so grateful for this opportunity.

But most of all I am grateful for God's plan for my life.

22 September 2011

The Sing-Off

I'm excited that the Sing-Off is on as a regular fall show instead of a month-long special around Christmas. I'm bummed that it is on at the same time as Dancing with the Stars. However, I'm DVRing it and catching up on Wednesdays when nothing else is on :)

I love the Sing-Off; it's so much fun. I love, love, love how all of the groups have color-coordinating outfits, but they don't match, it's not like they're wearing the exact same thing, but they all wear the same color in different styles. I love seeing how everyone wears the colors in different ways.

I also love the judges and host. Nich Lachey can be awkward and super cheesy with the musical puns, but he's infinitely likeable despite that :) I've already confessed my nerd love for Ben Folds And I like the guy from Boys to Men too. I am sooooooooooo glad that Nicole Scherziwhatshername decided to defect to the X-Factor for two reasons. 1) I'm not watching the X-Factor 2)Now she can't be on the Sing-Off. I like Sara Bareilles much, much more. She seems so fun and real, at least through the first episode. I like how she made comments about how bad her note-taking was (when one of her notes was, You're all so good-looking.) Hopefully she keeps it up the whole season.

Umm I also love their names. They are so clever. My fav. name this season was The Cat's Pajamas. I was very sad when they got kicked out the first week :( In fact there were four groups I really liked and two were the two that got kicked off (The Cat's Pajamas and the one with the 8 siblings).

So my two favs are Vocal Point the Mormon guys group (please love with me the fact that they changed it from "looking for a can of ale" to "looking for a can of ginger ale" :) and the Yellow Jackets. Although there are still another whole group of eight that haven't sung yet.

I'm looking forward to a season full of color coordinated, high energy fun!

21 September 2011

It Makes My Heart Happy

Darren Criss (aka Blaine from Glee) is pretty much the best ever. I love his dancing and his cute cute face. Also his singing talent. And how awesome he and the Warblers (who happen to be voice by the Bubs of season one of the sing-off) were. Any song the Warblers sang was pretty much guaranteed to be better than the original.Also he went to U of M. Also that he was in a Very Harry Potter Musical.

If you start watching this make sure you have a couple of hours available to view the whole thing, plus the sequel, which I have yet to watch...)

18 September 2011

Celebrate Good Times!

As I had company after the game ended putting the Tigers into the playoffs, I didn't watch much of the postgame celebration. We had it on, but I wasn't really focused on it. So the next night after we had a lovely day at the beach, I cuddled up on the couch with a perfect bag of popcorn to watch the coverage I had DVRed.

Here are some of my favorite moments:
-Inge trying to give someone a fist bump, but they went in for a high five.
- Porch was so smiley during his interview. He's so much cuter when he smiles :)
-Can we discuss how ugly the Tigers postseason hats are?
Yeah pretty ugly. Pretty much only Maggs and Papa Grande looked good in them...
-I think it was Santiago with some crazy dance moves! Andy Dirks and Boesch were also putting down some crazy moves.
- There were quite a few awkward hugs during the postgame interviews, including Inge and John Keating, Dave Dombrowski and Ryan Fields and Avila and Rod Allen. Brennan Boesch and Rod Allen actually had a real, nonawkward looking hug.
-In the background during someone else's interview you could see Porch say something that made Avila laugh, I wish I knew what he said.
-Mario looked ridiculous. The collar of his dress shirt was sticking out of his playoff shirt. He looked ridonkulous in his ugly playoff hat (see above)... It was just bad.
- When Donnie Kelly was being interviewed his smile was soooooooooooooooo big. It was so adorable.
- Jim Leyland's postgame interview was amazing. It started with Mario awkwardly leaning against the wall/sitting on Leyland's desk/ resting his hand on the wall. Then Jimmy started talking about the Detroit fans and how the Tigers know that they're going through tough times and hope the Tigers can do them proud. He was all choked up and crying. He can be so tough, but he's such a sweetie at heart. It was cute seeing Mario try to comfort him, patting him on the back a couple of times. (This interview may or may not have made me cry both times I watched it...)
-Someone should have told Ryan Fields that he had a zit on the side of his neck, it kept distracting/grossing me out.
- After Guillen's interview he smiled and it looked just like his Tiger stock photos always do. Apparently it's not that he's not photogenic, his smile is just super awkward...
-I liked how they referred to Ryan Perry as a male model. They were talking about when the Playoff gear would go on sale and said that they were using Ry Ry Jr. as a male model.
-I could identify Magglio when I saw just the back of his neck in the corner of the TV:) and he doesn't have curly locks cascading down his neck to make it easy anymore.
-Phil Coke was such a cutie in his postgame interview. He's a weirdo, but a nice weirdo to have around.
- Some of the plastic that was dividing the locker room into two sections fell down and it looked like Inge was bursting through it from behind.
- Can we also discuss the fact that the last time the Tigers won a division, Porch wasn't even born!!!!!!!!!!!! That is crazy.
Overall the Tigers had a blast dousing each other with champagne and beer and smoking cigars (sad point of the night, seeing Porch smoking....) Everyone was soaked and smiling :)

Except Cabrera. After a couple of well publicized incidents involving alcohol, Cabrera kept himself removed from the celebration. I read that the Tigers had non-alcoholic champagne for him to use, but he chose not to be anywhere near it. He started out hanging out in Jim Leyland's office and then sat at the other end of the clubhouse with a bottle of water. He earned an ounce of respect from me for that. I still don't like him and still won't cheer when he comes up to bat, but I respect that he didn't to be anywhere near the alcohol or even use the non-alcoholic stuff. Kudos to him

I can't wait to see the Tigers celebrate some more!!!!!!!!!!!!!

17 September 2011

Waiting to Clinch...

On the start of the day Thursday, the Tigers Magic Number to clinch a playoff berth was 2, which meant any combo of 2 Tigers wins and Indians losses would guarantee the Tigers the AL Central Championship and a place in the playoffs.

The Tigers were playing in Cali, which meant a 10:00 start, but this was a game I had to see as it was a possible clinching game. So I headed to bed for a late nap at 8 and set my alarm for 10. At ten I got up to watch the game. Midway through the game we found out that Cleveland had lost, dropping the Tigers magic number to 1. Meaning if the Tigers won their game they were in the playoffs!

So up we stayed, hoping to celebrate with champagne showers. However, the Tigers lost (breaking a 12-game winning streak). We went to bed late (1 am) and disappointed. But not too disappointed, because with 12 games left to play and a magic number of one a postseason for the Tigers was highly likely. In order to miss the playoffs, the Tigers would have had to lose every remaining game, with the Indians winning every remaining games.

Friday dawned a new day. In my mind it was crucial to clinch Friday. Saturday's game wasn't originally scheduled to be broadcast on TV. The four o'clock start put it in FOX's national window, which means nobody else can broadcast games then. Fox Sports Detroit bargained that the game needed to be shown in case we clinched. FOX granted them rights to show the game on FOX in local markets, Michigan and Toledo, which was exciting. Except that, although I'm a Michigan resident, my FOX station is out of Indiana... So I wouldn't be able to watch because the Indiana markets were getting a different game...

So Friday was important or I was going to be driving to GR to watch the game at an Applebee's... But Friday, my friend Holly and her bf Noe were coming to visit. They were aiming to arrive around 11:00pm Friday night. I was hoping not to have to awkwardly celebrate with them around, but I would deal with it. They ended up leaving late and getting lost, which meant there was hope for the Tigs to win before they arrived.

Then the lights went out. Literally, almost all of the lights at Oakland's stadium went out for 16 minutes and they had to delay the game. For awhile the game was tied 1-1. Dougie Fister was pitching awesome for the Tigers. We had lots of chances to score, but couldn't get the runs across.

Finally in I think the sixth, we managed to score a run on a Betemit triple! If we could hold on to the lead we'd be AL Central Champs! Later, Donnie Kelly hit a home run to give us an insurance run. We were ready to celebrate.

Dougie pitched through the eighth, then they put in Papa Grande. If you had been peeking into my window around 12:30 Saturday morning (creeper...) you would have seen a 23-year old woman clutching a giant stuffed monkey, pacing around her living room, quietly urging the Big Potato to do this thing. I was so nervous/excited!

After giving up a lead-off double, Papa Grande struck out the next batter. Then he got Hideki Matsuit to pop out to Inge. At this point my heart was pounding. I looked up at the TV and saw Jim Leyland doing that awkward pose where he sticks his hands into his pants. It's like putting your hands in your front or back pockets, but his baseball pants don't have pockets. So instead of looping his thumbs through his belt loops or something, he just sticks half his hand between his pants and jersey... it is very awkward, but at this tense moment it caused me to burst out laughing :) which broke the tension nicely.

After Inge through to first to get the last out of the game, the creeper peering in my window would have seen me silently cheering and trying not to jump up and down so as not to bother my downstairs neighbor who probably wasn't up that late... and would have seen a few tear slipping down my cheeks.

The Tigers rushed out on to the field in a fun celebration before heading into the clubhouse to douse each other in champagne. As the on-field celebration was winding down, my phone rang. It was Holly and Noe, they had arrived, with perfect timing, so that I could see the end of the game. With their arrival, I didn't get to watch much of the postgame celebration (we had it on, but I was trying to make polite conversation :)

Since I've been alive the Tigers have not won a division title, and they've never been Central Division champs, so this was a very exciting time! Plus making the playoff is always super exciting!!!! And very worth the wait!

15 September 2011

Pure Joy

This is one of my very favorite pictures ever. I could watch this moment over and over and over and over and it would still make me smile.

It's Placido Polanco, former Tiger, rounding the bases after Magglio's game-winning walk-off homerun, which put the Tigers in the 2006 World Series. I love how you can see his pure, uninhibited joy. Here he is a grown man, skipping and leaping around the bases, arms thrown in the air. Clearly just joyful. Love it.

Also, it makes my heart happy because Pollie is an amazing player, hardworking, fabulously dependable, kind and adorable. I also love the ridiculous hood he is wearing. I mean, yes I know it is cold in Detroit in December, but.... it just makes me love him all the much more.

Anyway, here's hoping that we get to see this type of pure joy in celebrations the Tigers hope to have this postseason! Good luck boys!

Here's a video of Maggs' homerun. Not the best shots of Pollie jumping, but it just gave me chills...

Please also watch this video, which is of Tigers closer Todd Jones, impersonating Magglio's home run trot during a rain delay.

13 September 2011

First Week's Fashion

Several people have found my blog by searching "Young Teachers Wardrobe" in the past few weeks. So I figured I should do a post about my young teacher's wardrobe...

Here are a couple of pics from my first few weeks of teaching. (Please forgive the very poor quality of these pics. It's hard to take pictures of myself...)

I'm pretty pleased with this outfit :)

The blue top is from Kohl's. I love it; it's so fun! I wore it over a plain brown tank from Kohl's. The blue/brown/white tweed skirt is thrifted (i.e. I got it at Goodwill) The brown wedges are from Payless.

This is another outfit I wore last week.

The gray skirt is from Target. I wore it with a blue, short-sleeved button up over a magenta tank top, also from target. The silver bow headband was a gift from LH and I wore some dark gray peep toe shoes with it.

I wore this outfit yesterday.

I love, love, love this dress. It is very cute, plus I love the pockets! The dress is from Target. I wore some black Mary Jane's from Payless and silver hoop earrings. With this fun patterned dress you don't need many accessories!

12 September 2011

Star Wars Night at the Ball Park

p.s. they forgot to give us the straws for our tumblers :(

11 September 2011

Never Forget

On this tenth anniversary of the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001, my thoughts and prayers remain with those who lost their lives, their families and friends, those heroes who rushed into danger to save the lives of others and those who are suffering ill effects from their efforts that day. I am so proud of the way our country was able to come together after these tragic events and the way we continue to remember them after ten years.

This morning while reading and watching coverage, I was struck with how amazing what the passengers of Flight 93 did. It was such an incredibly noble act, such a willing sacrifice. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. They saved countless lives and we should all be thanking God every day for their bravery.

On 9-11-01, I was thirteen years old and an eighth grader. At 8:46 am, I was sitting unaware in my first hour Social Studies class. I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary until my third hour Geometry class. The teacher next door to ours popped his head in and asked out teacher if she had heard what was happening. She replied that she did and was trying to keep it together. He left. And the classroom of eighth graders was left wondering what the heck was going on. At least I was. It was such a strange exchange with no explanation from our teacher. Now, years later, I can understand what it must have been like for her and that she probably would not have been able to explain it to us with out losing it, but at the time I was a scared and confused student.

After third hour, I still had no idea what was happening and headed to the lunch room. The middle school lunch room was awash with rumors. Some students had been told what had happened, some just made things up. I heard we had been bombed, planes had crashed and about a million other variations of truth and lies. It was incredibly scary to be in the dark, to not know what was true and what was fiction.

I headed to band class, where our band director was also fairly cryptic. Before we began practicing the National Anthem in anticipation of an upcoming football game he said, "This may be the most important time you'll ever play this song." I know it gave me goose bumps, even though I still wasn't sure what was going on in the world around us. (A few days later we had the privilege of playing the National Anthem at "Meet You at the Flagpole" a morning of prayer and remembrance, which was also a very meaningful experience.)

I arrived at my fifth hour, Language Arts. Our teacher asked if people knew what was going on and proceeded to explain all that had transpired each day. Even though it was horrifying, it was a relief to be able to know what what really happened. Our teacher wisely gave us the day to read or write, whatever felt comfortable to us. I remember I was reading the book Armaggedon Summer, which wasn't a very comforting read, but it was nice to have a chance to have to think about learning and escape into a good book. I will always be grateful to Mrs. C. for explaining the situation to us. It was much needed and I'm sure took much effort on her part to remain composed. Besides the fact that she was a wonderful teacher and had a book club class and let us read or write to our hearts' desires every day, I think one of the reasons I really bonded with Mrs. C. was because she was the one who gave me that information I so desired, she was the person to finally explain what was going on and let me be able to process it all.

Partway through class, a note was delivered for me. It said, "Grandma and Grandpa are safe and well." Until that moment I had completely forgotten that my grandparents were on a senior trip to Washington D.C. that day. I was so thankful that I had not been worrying all day as the rest of my family was and that I knew they were safe. Although I do remember feeling dread as the note was delivered to me, fearing it held bad news. I still have that note.

After school, I met up with Lil Sis, as tennis practice had been canceled. We had heard that high school sports were cancelled as well and went to wait for Big Sis to pick us up. I knew something horrible had happened, but I remember thinking that if the high school tennis coach, Mr. M, had cancelled tennis practice it must be really bad (as he never cancelled practice.)

We went home to find my Dad had left home early. We watched TV coverage for most of the night. Only pausing to turn off the TV, while my dad opened his birthday presents and blew out 40 birthday candles. (In the days that followed I remember my Dad wishing they would come up with some other way to refer to the tragic events. He wished that his birth date wouldn't become synonymous with tragedy.) Then the TV went right back on so we could watch the harrowing images for the umpteenth time.

The people of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, those in our military and the victims and all of those affected by this tragedy will be constantly in my thoughts and prayers today. #GodBlessAmerica

09 September 2011

I am Grateful for... Pure Michigan

I am so grateful to live the in the Great State of Michigan. I mean who else can point out where they live using their hand as a map. We drink pop and measure distances in time (it's half an hour away). I am grateful for the lakes and beaches and forests. I am grateful for Pure Michigan.

The last few years Michigan has run an ad campaign about the wonderfulness that is Michigan, dubbed Pure Michigan. These are some of the best commercials ever. The slow, relaxing music begins and a smile is immediately on my face. And if you try to talk to me during it, I will get angry. I love these commercials.

They feature the voice of Tim Allen, a Michigander. His voice is so soothing, it makes you feel like you're lounging on a beach off Lake Michigan or riding in a horse drawn carriage on Mackinac Island :)

They are such great commercials. Here are just a few.

*sigh* That music gets me every time, seriously I get goosebumps. I could watch every video on the puremichigan youtube channel and not get tired of it.

I live in such a fabulous state and I am a proud Michigander. We are surrounded by miles and miles of beautiful beaches, fabulous lakes, sand dunes, cities, farmland, such beauty. :) Such an amazing state. If you haven't been here, book a trip to visit Pure Michigan at michigan.org

08 September 2011

Ice Cream on the Lake

Remember that time that I thought it would be a good idea to eat ice cream

and walk along the lake
(I love, love, love these swings overlooking the lake. They are delightful to read in!)

(See people were sailing. It couldn't have been that cold...)

(Yes, I was wearing my Lake Michigan, Unsalted hoodie :)

at 7:00 at night when it was fifty degrees out. It was delicious! and freezing... but well worth it :)

07 September 2011

Times Like These

As I was writing this post about the Tigers amazing comeback Saturday, it made me think about how that game really represents what Detroit and the state of Michigan are about.

The Tigers represent so much about what the people of Detroit (and Michigan) stand for. We are so often the butt of people's jokes, the stat that is trotted out, the only riots anyone seems to remember. We are always counted out, underestimated and treated like dirt, just as the Tigers were during some of their rougher years.

Sure, we're going through terrible times. Sure, this is not the booming economic time we once had. Maybe our major economic source, the car industry, is outdated.

But we're people, with families and dreams and feelings. And we are not giving up. No one is rolling over, or accepting defeat. We aren't going anywhere. The car industry repaid their loans (I don't think the financial industry repaid the very large amounts of money they were given by the government...) and is bouncing back. We are fighters and when hard work is needed we will buckle down and do it. When hard times are upon us, we buckle down and fight twice as hard. We are not giving up, and neither are the Tigers.

It may be why we love them so much, even when they're losing 119 games. They work hard, they play hard for nine innings. They don't give up at-bats (or when they do, they hear it from the fans), they don't give up on games, they don't give up on losing seasons. The 2003 Tigers team won several games at the end of the season to avoid the most losses in mlb history. Mike Maroth continued to take the ball every five days despite losing 20 games. He actually pitched his 20th loss the day after his grandmother died. But they didn't give up, and neither do we.

We love our Michigan celebrities, especially when they love Michigan. I absolutely love this song from Kid Rock. It embodies everything I feel about Detroit and Michigan in general.

I am proud to be from Michigan and am so glad I didn't have to leave to find a job.

04 September 2011

Oh What a Night!

Last night, Momma, Daddy and I went to the Tigers game against the White Sox. We got their early to get our Going, Going Green hats! They're basically green Tigers hats with a recycling symbol on them, but we love our giveaways! Daddy even left and re-entered with our extra ticket to get Lil Sis a hat, even though she couldn't come to the game.

It was super duper hot out, 95 degrees!! And very sunny. But luckily our seats went into the shade pretty quickly...

After four and a half innings, we were down 8-1 after Brad Penny had a tough outing with little help from the defense (four runs were unearned...) We scored a couple of runs in the bottom of the fifth and kept battling back, scoring another run on a solo homerun.

Around the 8th inning, the sky started looking ominous, very cloudy. We could see lightning in the distance. It started getting windy and trash was flying all around the stadium.

The Tigers came up to bat and got a double. Just as the rain started to fall, they posted a message on the scoreboard saying those in the upper sections needed to evacuate and go to the lower level! But the players were still on the field. Yikes.

We went into the tunnel just behind our seats as they pulled the players off the field. It was raining pretty hard and lots of people were leaving. About half an hour after the rain started, the rain stopped and an usher told us we could go back to our seats. There were probably a couple of thousand fans left.

The Tigers got a hit to score the runner at second in the rest of the eighth, so it was 8-6.

Then came the ninth. Austin Jackson got a triple (his second of the game and his fourth hit of the night). Ryan Raburn followed with a two-run homer!!!!!!!! So the game was tied. The small crowd that was left was going crazy.

Delmon Young struck out.

Migel Cabrera was up with two outs. On the first pitch, he hit a walk-off homerun!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was crazy awesome. Although, I saw the left fielder walking forwards and I thought he was coming in to catch it because I had no idea where the ball was. Really he was coming off the field because the game was over :)

It was sooooooooooooo exciting. We were sooooooooooooo glad that we stayed. This is the reason that we never leave until the last out, you never know when your team will come back from 8-1, come back from a rain delay and win the game in the most dramatic fashion!!!!!!!! Such a fantastic game, that I will never forget.

03 September 2011

Getting to Know Me from A to Z

I stole this from the lovely B from With Love From Michigan.

A-Z About Me!
* Age: Twenty-Three
* Bed Size: Twin
* Chore (least-fav): Laundry
* Dog(s): None, don't like 'em
* Essential to start the day: Milk or juice
* Favorite Color: Purple
* Gold or Silver: Silver
* Height: 5'4"
* Instruments: I played clarinet through high school.
* Job: Teacher!!
* Kids: 26, my students that it :), plus one beautiful niece.
* Live: Pure Michigan
* Maiden Name: My current last name
* Nicknames: Jill (I prefer Jillian), Jillibean
* Overnight hospital stay?: Not since I was born.
* Pet-Peeve: ATM Machine, PIN number, GPS system...
* Quote: So many, I love writing down my favorite quotes in a journal.
* Righty or Lefty: Righty
* Siblings: The middle of three sisters
* Time to wake up: 6:00
* University: GVSU
* Vegetables you dislike: cooked carrots, cooked broccoli, celery, cauliflower
* What makes you run late: Getting distracted by the internet
* X-rays you've had: Lots at the dentist and on my arm when I was 1
* Yummy Food: Chocolate!
* Zoo Animal (favorite): Dolphins