hey thanks for all the replies. ok so i fixed the timing...but i don't understand why it works. basically the startup time changed by 2 seconds after I put in the decoupling capacitors.
everything seems to be running very smoothly now. here is a terrible fritzing of my circuit
So my question is...will the off timing be consistent? So I can just adjust the code accordingly? My loop probably takes about half a second longer now or so it seems. Or would it be less predictable? I assume it's because of the 47uf cap on the power rails...it's taking a bit of time to charge/decharge.