Happy Birthday to Me and God Bless My Parents

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March 16 is my birthday!!! YAY! Four years after originally posting this post I still thank God for allowing me to see another year. He’s done so much for and within me over the last now 45 years and for that I’m eternally grateful.

As excited as I am today about “my day” tomorrow I understand with full clarity that who I am is because of Who I serve and Who He allowed to parent me. My parents, Sylvester and Angenetta Scott ROCK!!!!

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Each year I get them a present for my birthday to thank them for doing whatever they had to do to connect, love each other, have me, love me, rear me, provide for me, whip me, guide me and most importantly stay together. This year my sweet husband purchased them a picture from the both of us of them at our wedding which now hangs on their wall. (Awwwww…aren’t they adorable?!?!) So, thankfully, I found this post as again and enhanced it as an offering of the gift of my words.

I want to publicly say THANK YOU to them for being the perfect parents to me (especially when I acted far, far, far less than perfect). A lot of people know me now and see the works of many to get me half-way together, but let me tell you, your girl Angela has come a long way, especially from teenagedom. I have to say THANK YOU to my father for working since the age of seven until retirement almost six decades later and not having his father in his life, but being stubbornly determined to be all that he didn’t have for his children and other people’s children. He is the most loving, sensitive and tenacious provider, protector, comedian, detailed question asker, streetwise/bookwise combo, financial expert and human encourager I know. Now, as he’s overcoming health challenges which caught us all by surprise in 2016, his strength, determination and care for his family shines even more brightly as a source of inspiration for me. I have to say THANK YOU to my mother for being the most selfless, caring, loving human I know, pressing through her own personal pains to provide joy to so many. She’s the best best friend, listener, problem solver, caregiver, chef, surprise planner, Santa Claus, prayer partner, sounding board, voice of reason, Godly example of wife/mother/grandmother, personal chef, good friend to her friends, project workerbee, organizer, birthday/holiday card sender, confidant, and intercessor I know. I simply adore, admire and respect them more than these 600 words could say.

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At the time I first wrote this post four years ago I said…”Neither of them bother with “that Facebook”, and my mom rarely has time to read my blogs because they’re busy taking care of my beautiful nieces and enjoying dates after all these years, but somehow, someway I know these words will reach them and I hope they linger in their hearts forever.”

Now, my mom is on “that Facebook”, but barely as she balances life “the remix” since my dad’s illness. Those beautiful nieces are in school, and the dates they enjoy, mostly at Cracker Barrel or McDonalds as my dad continues to show last year’s sickness who’s the Boss, are truly a testament of their love for each other, which is a testament of their love for me and those who love them. So again, just in case they don’t see this for themselves, I know somehow, someway these words (and I pray my actions) will reach them and linger in their hearts forever.

-The proud daughter of Sylvester and Angenetta Scott

File a Report! Real Music is Missing:(

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Snuggly in my 40s, I hesitated in writing this blog today because I didn’t want to come off like a crotchety, old lady who always whines about how things were back in the “good old days”. But I’ll be doggonnit (is that how you spell it?), I can’t take it anymore! I’m launching a grassroots campaign to find real music because obviously it’s missing and has been gone too long.

I was serenaded to sleep last night by the Unsung of one of my all-time favorite bands, “Mint Condition”. It felt good reflecting on their music, the instrumentation, their expertise, their live show (which is absolutely bananas), and the cohesiveness of it all that comes when you’re singing about something that really matters. Well, wouldn’t you know it, while riding into work I attempted to listen to a syndicated radio show of a wildly popular comedian whom I just so happen to adore and used to work for in the past. The music was making me want to peel the purple, painted acrylic off my nails one-by-one. Each song sounded the same, laced with non-sensical lyrics about drinks, drugs, diamonds, gold, cash, bands and booties that could have been manufactured with my Samsung tablet or my niece’s Barbie boom box with the voice altering recording feature.

I miss real music. Let’s me say now, that I understand that some segments of this generation live life and experience things that would have been completely foreign to me growing up (and even now). In some ways, I get why some people sing what they sing or say what they say. That’s all they know or choose to know.  I’m not judging. I’m just asking what happened to creative genius or simple imagination that allows the brain to bless some other people with the ability to come up with things that are positive, fun, witty, substanitive or just plain make you want to dance? Where is the other side of the spectrum that has substance?

Music has always been a part of my life. I remember dancing around the house with my family while dusting on a Saturday morning growing up listening to WATV or WJLD. I remember being at my Aunt Vanteal’s house as a child, fascinating spectators by doing the “Worm”, the “Bump” or the “Popcorn” to Midnight Star, Atlantic Star or the Emotions. I remember hugging my very first Michael Jackson album cover (“Off the Wall”) at the home of a childhood friend, while we listened to it from beginning to end all night long. I remember embracing acts like Wham, the Go-Go’s, Duran Duran, The Police, Kenny Loggins, Eurythmics, and Hall and Oates because they literally rocked. I remember writing down the lyrics to “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and asking my parents to by me a pair of biking shorts. I remember practicing dance routines to anything hot in the “Gump” with my cousins in front of the floor-to-ceiling mirror at their house on Jennifer Lane. I remember my first New Edition, Heavy D and Whoudini concert that my mother took me to. I remember Babyface/The Deele/After 7,  Ashford and Simpson, Chaka Khan, Janet Jackson, Freddie Jackson, Ray Parker Jr., Vanessa Williams, Lauren Hill,  Anita Baker, En Vogue, Tina Turner, and anyone else whose songs I still remember word-for-word today. I remember the pride I felt from Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”. I remember the comfort I gained at a time I really needed it from the Stop the Violence Movement’s “Self Destruction”. I remember when music from people like Whitney, Patti, Luther, Mariah and anyone else who’d risen to one name status could be heard in any house or any car without having to be embarrassed to listen. Heck, I even remember the first time I heard things I shouldn’t have heard (Too Short, Prince, NWA, Uncle Luke, Kilo Ali), but NOTHING in me said I should be okay with listening to this and certainly not around my parents, other adults and definitely not on the radio.

A popular song today said “Bands a Make Her Dance”. It’s talking about something far too salacious for this blog. Well, bring back songs that sound like Earth, Wind and Fire, The Gap Band, Zapp featuring Roger Troutman, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Boyz II Men, Run DMC, The O’Jays, Cameo, Tony! Toni! Toné!, or Kool and the Gang and THOSE bands a make me dance!

All that said, I miss music. File a report. Real music is missing:(

@AngelaMMoore316

I Need a Man

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I need a man!!! Now wait a minute. Before you think I’m talking about what you think I’m talking about hear what I’m really talking about:)

One morning, while getting ready for work at 4:30am I watched local news. Being a former newsie I understand clearly that the “if it bleeds it leads” culture still exists in media, meaning that bad news often beats good news for the top slots. Knowing how media works still doesn’t make it easy to wake up to the site of the mug shots of SO many men who have murdered, robbed, burned (down houses), smoked, shot, sold or stolen. It certainly doesn’t make it easier to see the faces and hear the stories of young men like Michael Brown who have been murdered, or legends like Robin Williams who have taken their own lives.

So I declare, “I Need a Man”!  I need a man to understand some things from the perspective of a woman who absolutely adores the creation God made. I need a man… any man, boys-to-men, old men, young men, middle-age men, and every man to know:

  • You are loved, valuable, needed, and necessary.
  • Not all women think you’re dogs.
  • There are people who really do believe in you.
  • Your family needs you for more than your paycheck. Your time, influence, wisdom, discipline, authority, presence, participation, assuring hugs, hearty laugh and deep voice mean so much to so many.
  • Crime “ain’t” cute and like an expensive hotel, the longer you stay in it the more you have to pay to get out.
  • There is so much more to you for the world than your career, cars, wallets, watches, sneakers, athletic abilities, love life or libido.
  • Your words matter and we really do want to hear what you have to say (especially when you think no one cares or understand.)
  • There are some other GOOD men who are good for you to be around.
  • A friend, homeboy, partner, ace, bro, buddy and so on are not your friend, homeboy, partner, ace, bro, buddy and so on if they support foolishness and encourage tomfoolery.
  • You have the right to start over again from any place of pain.
  • You deserve the beauty of joy and to sleep peacefully at night.
  • It’s okay to be hurt and to get help to deal with that hurt properly.
  • A strong man isn’t afraid to be honest, transparent, vulnerable and taught.
  • The world might have given up on you but there are so many who have not.
  • There is no embarrassment attached to improvement.
  • You are a leader, born of leaders, meant to breed other leaders.
  • It’s okay to forgive yourself.
  • Education is attractive, and while college may not be for everyone learning can be.
  • A man who smiles and a man who is sensitive is sexy.
  • You can be whomever God created you to be even if you didn’t have all the people or things you thought you needed in order to be it.
  • You are loved, valuable, needed, and necessary. (I said it twice so it can soak in.)

@AngelaMMoore316

My Sister Still Dances in Stores

The following was posted years ago regarding my sweet sister who celebrates 35 years of LIFE today. Through rapid-fire, ups and downs which would have taken many out, she still dances in stores, on streets, even in parked interstate traffic one day as we traveled back from a road trip. So today, I celebrate Kristy Lee…the Dance Machine! Happy Birthday, Sissy!

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I have a confession to make. My sister dances in stores. Yeah, yeah, I know that might not have been what you wanted to hear and I also know that really wasn’t my confession to make, but I just had to share that news with someone.

She’ll probably have a fit because of the fact that I’m even blogging about her, but being nine years older, and being the only one of us that’s actually writing on our blog right now does have some serious advantages.

That’s why I want you all to know my sister dances in stores. I know that might sound crazy, but to me it’s absolutely one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Right in the middle of our favorite Publix, Walmart, Target or any other establishment for that matter, she will break out into a brief, but festive dance.

I’ll be the first to admit I was embarrassed the first time she started doing this years ago. Being as poised as I think I am I initially whispered to myself, “What will people think?” as she strutted, hopped, shimmied or sashayed down the aisle between the Windex and Ziplock bags, or the Hotpockets and Hamburger Helper.  Like an unexpected storm on a hot, Alabama day, each time we’re together some sort of dance is bound to pop up and out of her. Moving past the embarrassment I looked deeper, having watched my sissy grow from a little girl to a woman, and mother. I reflected on all she’d been through, as most humans have, and realized that she’d never lost her dance.

I have no clue what propelled her to begin to break out into spontaneous dance when she first started doing it years and years ago. I’d even go so far as to speculate that each time she breaks out into dance an inner strength and fortitude is stirring up like the wind on a day of shopping on Magnificent Mile in Chicago. What I don’t have to wonder or ponder about is the fact that life has thrown her enough curveballs to shut her internal “party down”…and yet, she still does her dance, and even gets smaller in size with each shake, shake, shake. What an inspiration to me, that no matter the matter she’s determined to keep moving.

So I’ll say, “Dance on sister. Dance on!” And the next time you feel the impulse to “bust a move” grab my hand and make me join in.

-@AngelaMMoore316

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Your Church is Like Chicken

Recently, I had the honor of attending the church of my 80+ year-old godmother for Friends and Family Day. I’d not visited her church in decades, and quite honestly, don’t have or take the opportunity to visit many other churches than my own that often.

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Knowing her church was “different from mine” I had a little hesitation about what to wear, how long it would last, if there’d be enough seats, if we’d arrive on time and the likes. My sister and I frantically rushed to get ready, both noting that we felt like we were going to church on Easter or preparing for a wedding because we wanted her girls and us to be just right. We enjoyed our time there as her Pastor talked about a universal subject…Family.

Having been a member of a few churches and even previously being married to a Pastor for nine years I know all too well the comparisons, complaints and sometimes competition sadly surrounding church. To me, it’s just not right. Sadly, some people often feel like their church is emphatically the best, as if the Lord designed His churches on a Collage Playoff National Championship format. They often declare that their Pastor preaches the best, or choir’s singing surpasses other churches.  Some say blacks shouldn’t go to multi-cultural churches or whites don’t belong in traditionally black churches. Some churches are called Old School. Others are marked as too contemporary. Some have congregants who are both black and white, while others have parishioners who are only black, or only white or other shades of beauty. Some churches serve Mocha Lattes on Sundays and others hosts Vacation Bible School in the summer.  Some church cultures require a suit and tie. Others welcome you in suits, shorts or sundresses.

I’m convinced that Jesus in NO WAY wanted His church to compare itself with His church. In the words of the legend known as Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”! He cares about us all going to Heaven, loving each other and not living like we’re in hell while on earth. That’s it! We have a bigger battle to fight other than one with each other. Actually, in my opinion Church is like chicken. Now, before you laugh or think I’m being disrespectful hear me out.  Chicken is one of those delicacies which offers a preparation process for everyone, and at the end of the day it is still chicken. Smelling the succulent aroma of fried chicken floating through my godmother’s church service from their fellowship hall I was reminded of growing up in a traditional, black, Baptist Church and now ending up in a contemporary, non-denominational, multi-cultural church and thinking that BOTH served me well!!!

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Baked. Deep Fried. Pan Fried. Fileted. Flash-fried. Grilled. Cajun. Oven-baked. Smothered. Covered. Chunked. Crock-potted. Marinated. Injected. Sautéed. Spicy. Seared. Stuffed. Slow-roasted. Diced. Sliced. Secret-spiced. Hot-sauced. Hot-winged. Browned. Barbecued. Broiled. Blackened. Bone-in. Bone-out and so on, and so on, and so on. Chicken is chicken is chicken!

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Much like church, concerning chicken, some like it hot and others can’t take the heat. Some seek it flavorful and others need it filtered. Some can digest a lot of extras and others prefer it plain. Some like it after it’s been marinated for a long time and others ask for it microwave ready. Some like it spicy and others require simple. Chicken can be prepared so many different ways and at the end of the day it’s STILL chicken with the same origin and same nutritional purpose. That’s just like church. With Christ, His word and His ways at the center we should all be able to find somewhere that fits us and not be bogged down with comparing or competing. I think God strategically uses unique Pastors to prepare His word and provide an atmosphere for worship for His unique people in MANY unique ways to make sure each unique spiritual appetite is appeased and none of His children go lacking. Now that’s a good Daddy! So the next time you’re tempted to compare churches, or share your two-cents on who should go where, and why, who’s not doing enough and why, and so on and so on…don’t. Just think of chicken and know that church, like chicken, has something for everyone.

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@AngelaMichele316

Ode to Hazel and Harlem

One year ago today I was aboard a flight to New York to celebrate my 40th birthday and the 80th birthday of my amazing cousin Hazel Dukes.

Obviously my dreams aren’t wild enough because never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the life-changing trip I was embarking on. We laughed, we ate, we shopped, we saw Porgy and Bess, we dined on the corner and on high-class cuisine, we toured all parts of the area, lounged at Hazel’s Harlem high-rise, were treated like royalty at our hotel and enjoyed every moment of it.

On that trip I came away with a sense that part of me belongs in Harlem. (No wonder the “fake” Harlem shake is so popular. There’s just something about that place!!!) I loved, loved, loved Harlem, and sharing that experience with my cousin Hazel, my sister and cousins Rikki and Nishia! Walking the streets, shopping with vendors, visiting the Apollo, dining at the famous Sylvia’s, hearing music blasting, seeing beautiful people of all shades each representing different stories made me come alive. I felt a sense of pride and purpose on my journey there.

I also came away from that New York trip with some irreplaceable notions:

  1. I’m blessed.
  2. I want to live in a way that allows me to always have more than enough of my life, love, resources and wisdom to share with others.
  3. I want to live to be vibrant, feisty, bold, sassy and impactful like my cousin Hazel.
  4. New York hotdogs are best eaten on the street in the cold. And a stain of mustard on my clothing is a badge of honor.
  5. Cheese and fresh honeycomb taste great together especially when delivered via room service from a fancy-smancy hotel.
  6. There is an amazing world outside of my world.
  7. Everyone deserves happy memories. Memories are the best way to be where you want to be when you can’t be where you want to be and that’s a blessing.
  8. Family is a blessing that’s to be treasured.

So as I reflect, enjoy these snapshots of my 40th birthday in the Big Apple.

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I’ll Beat the Streets to Telling My Story

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People have asked before why I “tell my business like I do”. Believe it or not, I’m extremely private, but I’ve grown to the level of developing transparency I have because I’ve also been on the other side of the fence standing by as someone else told my story, and quite honestly, told a few tales (i.e. lies) along with it. It’s nothing like having to hear someone else’s false, tainted or unauthorized remix of your life, as if they lived it and you didn’t. And you know some people pride themselves on “Your Life: The Remix”,  going all “P Diddy” on your bees-knees (that’s business, people:).

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So I decided that I’ll beat the streets to telling my story. Hear say, he say and she say can’t even phase me. Before it can be spoken I’m going to already speak it. Before it can be written I’m going to already write it. Before it can be confused I’m going to already make it clear. Before it can be attributed to anyone else I’m going to make sure Jesus is at the center. Before any details are deleted I’ll be certain to give a good play-by-play. Before any true supporters are ignored I’m going to be certain to make sure they receive their proper “thank you”. I’m not going to use my words to be mean, recreate history, embarrass anyone or do anything that would ruin the testimony I’m sharing, but I am going to use my words. The way I see it is if I lived through it, fought for it, cried over it, worked hard for it, prayed for it, prepared for it, sacrificed for it, believed for it or waited on it I own the rights to it, and the right to be able to use it to help others and myself.

Now, Ves and Nette (my parents) didn’t raise a fool. I’m smart enough to know that not everyone can handle everything about my life, but I’m also wise enough to know how to tell just enough or tell it the right way for God to get the glory He deserves. Is it hard to do sometime? Yes.  Do I still struggle with what to say, when and how? Yes, indeed. Will I stop striving to tell my story? No sir. No ma’am.

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So I encourage you to tell your story too. (Here’s a little secret. People are likely already talking so you may as well give them something accurate to talk about.)Sometimes we can be so bogged down by questions, that we don’t use the power we have in providing the answers before the nosey, I mean, inquisitive people come. Not that all people are “nosey”. Most genuinely care, are concerned, want to celebrate or find out how you did what you did so they can do it to. They’re connected to you and they care. So don’t rob the good grapes of your story because of a few bad apples in the fruit baskets.

@AngelaMMoore316

I’m So “Pecking” Excited

As I furiously peck this blog, mostly with my left hand, while watching Live with Kelly and Michael I’m excited. For the first time since October 2012 I’m wearing my lymphedema sleeve and glove. Back then I wore it while flying to an amazing girlfriend getaway in West Palm Beach. Today I’m wearing it because I’m swollen and in pain. Still in pain, I’m so “pecking” excited!!!!!!!!!!!!

The human in me would love to whine and wonder why I have to deal with this lymphedema again when I thought I pretty much had this testimony under my belt. Spring is coming. This weekend is supposed to be warm. I have big plans to celebrate my birthday this month and the birthday of some close loved ones. I have a fabulous, sleeveless dress for my god-daughter’s wedding next month. Sundress season is almost here and a sleeve/glove set shall NOT be a part of my wardrobe!

I would love to use the sweet words of Sweet Brown (google it:). But, I’ve dealt with enough pop-up problems to know that they are often crystal clear indicators of amazing days just ahead. Like clockwork, I’ve reflected on my life and realized that pop-up problems serve a serious purpose:

  • Sickness has often preceded C-RA-ZY successes.
  • Losses have led to new jobs, platforms and purposes.
  • Family “matters” (i.e. drama) have ushered in beautiful, unforgettable memories.
  • Situations that looked hopeless have come just before undeniable miracles.
  • Tough times have ended with unforgettable vacations.

Pop-up problems work for me! Whether they want to be or not, I’m filing them under the “thanks for stopping by to drop of a blessing” category. A blog that usually takes 15 minutes has taken 41 minutes, but I peck, as a notice to the devil and anyone else who needs a reminder. I’m so “pecking” excited!!!!!!

-Angela Moore

 

I Can Hardly Handle My Own Sin So I “Shole” Don’t Want Yours

Sin is one of those things that amazes me. As I sit here typing, as full as a newborn that just gobbled up 12 ounces of Similac, I realize eating too much (gluttony) is just as bad as any other hot button sin topic. I also realize that as humans we often feel the need to take on the sins of others as our own personal missions. It’s easy to pick on, point out and point the finger when people’s struggles differ from ours, especially if they are outwardly displayed. But that’s not Bible and it “shole ain’t” right.

As brothers and sisters in the Lord, our job is to pray, work on our own issues, live in a way that’s an example to others, encourage, work on our own issues (yes, I said it twice), operate in love and trust God to perfect His plan in all of our lives. It’s not our job to classify sins, ignore our own challenges, become stagnant in our own sin, condemn, condone, isolate or cast stones. The way I see it, if we focused more on extending a helping hand, dealing with our own slaps on the wrist or lifting our hands in prayer we wouldn’t have room to sling rocks and throw stones.

So I declare, I can hardly handle my own sin so I “shole” don’t want yours. It really is a handful focusing on my own deliverance, and that’s with Jesus having done most of the work. The time it would take for me to launch a full-on, hurtful or hate-filled campaign against someone who deserves the same amount of God’s grace that I do is just not on my to-do list.

-Angela Moore

Don’t stop. Get it. Get it.

“Don’t stop. Get it. Get it.” Oh, how tickled I was to be able to let the melodious lyrics of Uncle Luke from my hair-sweating dance days of the 90’s lead the way to this post. I’ve always been one to find inspiration in the strangest of places, and be able to add a dose of good, grown-up, Godly sense with it. With that said, I, in no way condone the words to that Miami, base-laden chart topper (sadly, at least in my little T-town college world it was a chart topper). In fact, when I googled the phrase I was embarrassed when I really read what Luke and his Crew were talking about. I felt a twinge of uncontrollable heat in my face that was ushered in by a bit of shock and disbelief at the fact that I actually liked this song. Good thing I only remembered part of the lyrics. Still, there’s something about that one line that sticks to me like powdered sugar from a funnel cake on my favorite Easter frock. The more I try to get rid of it, the more it seems smear in and hold on for dear life. Today, as I repost this blog post for the umpteenth time, is one of those days.

Seriously though, how many times have we been so close to the finish line only to quit on our “it”. Your “it” may not be my “it”. Our “it” may have changed from season-to-season or situation-to-situation. Our “it” may be a blessing initially masquerading as a burden. Our “it” may be personal, social, relational or spiritual, or all of the fore mentioned. Our “it” may hurt. Our “it” may get on our nerves. Our “it” may make us want to forget it. We might not have even asked for our “it”. But our “it” is our “it” and that’s just the way “it” is. And so I hear the words, “Don’t Stop. Get it. Get it.”

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  • Would you walk to the 101st floor of the Empire State building then turn around to walk back down because you’re tired? I think not.
  • Would you leave your car in the middle of 7am 65 N, from the Alabaster exit traffic, and walk on the interstate because you don’t want to be behind the wheel? I believe not.
  • Would you stay in school for 15 years, 11 months and two weeks then quit just days before strutting across the stage to receive your diploma with honors? I know not.
  • Would you work as hard as you have already worked for whatever you have or hope to have then throw in the towel just before the victory-winning buzzer? I hope not.

Regardless of how long “it” takes, how heavy the load or how hard “it” might appear our “it” is our “it”. We have to want “it” like our lives and legacies depended on it….because they often do. Never quit on your “it”.

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So I’d say:

  • Don’t be afraid to dream, (and wake up).
  • Don’t be afraid to hustle to make your dreams come true.
  • Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard.
  • Don’t settle.
  • Don’t live in fear.
  • Don’t listen to naysayers.
  • Don’t listen to any naysayeritis that might dwell in you.
  • Don’t talk about “it” more than you work on “it”.
  • Don’t be mad. Be motivated.
  • Don’t fight change.
  • Don’t fight. Change.
  • Don’t doubt.
  • Don’t shy away from help.
  • Don’t lose faith.
  • Don’t quit.

and last, but not least

  • Don’t stop. Get it. Get it. (Now let that little Luke tune shimmy in your head today:)

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@AngelaMichele316