How to Pray for your Husband

How to Pray for Your Husband

Our husbands need our prayers! This week I challenge you to focus on one prayer a day. There is so much power in our prayers. Our spouse is the most important person in our lives, and they deserve a few prayerful minutes of our day. Let’s dive into how to pray for you husband!

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Day 1: Pray for peace in his heart. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3. Our husbands tend to feel a lot of weight on their shoulders. They want to provide financially, emotionally, spiritually and they want to lead our families well. Sometimes this can cause a lack of peace, and more of worry. Something we can pray is for our husband to have peace, even in trying times. Pray that they are so grounded in God’s word that when the stresses fall on them, they know that they are not alone in handling them. Pray for peace and comfort in his heart. 

Day 2. Pray for his confidence and self-esteem. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29. We need to be his number one fan. Being an encourager goes so far when it comes to men. They need to know that we are for them, and we believe in them. They could receive all the encouragement in the world from other people, but what matters most is how we encourage them. Instead of focusing on what he’s struggling with, remind him of what he is doing well. Pray that he feels encouraged and confident in his abilities and who he is in Christ.

Day 3. Pray for his relationship with God. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. Pray that your husband is submitting to the Lord. Ask that he is not relying on his own understanding, but turning to God for help when he needs it most. Pray that your husband’s relationship with God is growing and thriving. Pray that he is seeking the Lord and longing for him so that he can lead your family well. 

Day 4. Pray that he would have a heart for his children. Children are a heritage from the Lordoffspring a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3. Oh those babies, how we love them! Pray that your husband would have a heart for them as well. Pray that he’ll go the extra mile to make them feel special. Pray that he is filled with joy throughout the playful moments and even through the tough ones. Kids have a funny way of showing us love, pray that they will tenderly show Daddy how much they really love him.

Day 5. Pray for your husband to succeed in his work. Put God in charge of your work, then what you’ve planned will take place.” Proverbs 16:3. Pray that he will succeed, not just financially, but pray for your husband to feel as if he is fulfilling is purpose. Or figuring out what his purpose is. Pray that he feels respected and encouraged in his work environment. Pray that God would place a hedge of protection around him so that no physical, emotional or spiritual harm will come to him. Our husbands often base their worth off of how well they are performing at their job. Pray for him to succeed according to his own goals. Help him reach them, help him turn his dreams into a reality.

Day 6. Pray that you can show your husband unconditional respect. “Nevertheless, each husband is to love and protect his own wife as if she were his very heart, and each wife is to respect her own husband.” Ephesians 5:33. If you choose only one prayer for your husband, let it be this one. Our husbands need to be respected more than anything else. Pray that you can respect him with your words. Our words are so powerful, let them build your husband up instead of tear him down. Respect him in the way you speak of him. Speak highly of him. I have another post on why this is so important, you can read it here. Our husbands need to feel respected just as much as we need to feel loved. Pray that you can respect him even when he hasn’t earned it. Respect him like you want to be loved.

Day 7: Pray for your husband to love you unconditionally. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25. Pray for your husband to lean on God’s word and love you unconditionally, even when you don’t deserve it. Talk through the issues that arise in your marriage. Pray together. Seek help when needed. Reach out to your spouse to see what he needs or how you can help him. All of these things will help you love and respect each other more.

Here are some resources that I highly recommend:

Thanks for being here, let me know if there’s anything we can add to the list of how we can pray for our husbands!

What does the Bible say about Self-Care?

“As often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer.” Luke 5:16 (MSG) 

How many times have you wanted to go to a lonely place to pray? Sometimes I go to my prayer closet, also known as my bathroom. The problem is that a toddler usually needs something every 0.5 seconds when I’m in the bathroom. What is that?

I have been hearing about this “self-care” concept for a while now. It’s all over the internets and especially in the blog world. I tend to breeze through these articles and think that one day, when the kids are older, I will do this again. But not now, not with two toddlers. They need me too much and I will set myself aside. But something I had to teach myself is that self-care is NOT selfish. It is necessary. How can we pour into our family if we are not filling ourselves up?

I don’t think self-care is something we can put on the back burner. I think as moms, it should be one of our highest priorities. The stresses that come from parenting fluctuate like the seasons, but one thing we can be consistent in is how we take care of ourselves.  I’ve missed those pedicure days, but what I’ve missed most is my “me time.” The time that left you feeling refreshed and like a better version of yourself. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate that into motherhood. But mamas, there is a way. There is a way to still have “me time” and do self-care even when you are parenting toddlers.

We’ve heard it over and over again. We cannot continue to pour into others if we are not filling ourselves up. But what does that really mean? How do we fill ourselves up? I think this looks different for everyone. The truth is that God wants us to rest. He talks about it all throughout scripture.


“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) 

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2 (NIV) 

Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 (MSG)

There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from hisLet us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” Hebrews 4:9-11 (NIV) 

I am constantly asking the Lord to teach me to be more like Him, that my thoughts and actions would reflect His. God leads us in example by showing us how to rest, just as He did. Mamas, this is so important. We are commanded to rest.  I feel like we often miss it in the busy and sometimes chaotic seasons of parenting. But it’s a necessity. How and when we rest will be up to us. But here are a few quick examples that can help you get started:
  • Go to bed early
  • Read a new book (currently reading Whispers of Rest – a 40 day devotional)
  • Take a walk
  • Take an epson salt bath
  • Journal
  • Do yoga
  • Treat yourself to a cup of coffee… maybe even a donut 🙂
  • Turn off your phone for a few hours
  • Pray
  • Say no to something
  • Declutter (so refreshing!) Check out this post to see how it’s changed my life.
  • Watch a movie or your favorite show
  • Workout
  • Take a nap
  • Call someone you love

These are all easy things that can be added into your everyday. Of course a spa day would be nice, but let’s be honest. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So for now we can focus on what we can do. Let’s get more rest and fill up our cups. We are called to give of ourselves, but we are also responsible for being the best version of ourselves.

Let me know how your self-care journey is going. Are you filling yourself up so you can pour out?

An Open Letter to my Husband From Your Stay-At-Home-Wife

To my husband,

Thank you for giving the kids a bath, even when you feel like you have nothing left to give at the end of the day.

When we are wrangling kids and trying to get out the house and you say, “What can I do to help?” Thank you for that.

I am constantly needed throughout the day. When you come home and see that the house is a hot mess – instead of saying, “What did you do all day?” You start picking things up and putting things away. That is what I need. That is what our family needs. Thank you.

I can’t tell you how much it means when you say, “Go take a break, I’ve got the kids.” It is very difficult for me to say “I need a break” when I know you’ve had a long day too. Words cannot express how much I need you to say it.

Thank you for loving me, even at my worst. I try so hard, so stinkin’ hard to do this mom and wife thing well. When I fail, I appreciate you being there as a helping hand, rather than being disappointed in me.

The kids are dying to spend time with you. Thank you for prioritizing time with each one of them. And thank you for treating them like the gifts that they are, rather than a bother.

Thank you for listening when the kids tell you about their day, even if you have no idea what they are saying. Thank you for being excited with them.

Please know that I don’t need much, I just need to know that you appreciate me too. Thank you for letting me know that I am doing a good job. It keeps me going.

Thank you for doing the dishes. When I hear that you’re doing them and I didn’t even have to ask you to do them, I get those same butterflies you gave me when we first met.

Thank you for not letting your job stop when you are done working. And thank you for understanding that just because I’m not away at a job everyday, I am working very hard.

Thank you for showing our kids that I am first, and they are second.

Thank you for leading us in prayer throughout the day. And thank you for showing our kids what it means for you to love me like Christ loves the church. You are setting the standard for their future spouses.

Thank you for loving me so well, day in and day out.

Thank you for supporting my dreams.

Thank you for hearing me, really hearing me when I need it most.

Nothing makes me happier than watching you play with our kids. Thank you for being a horsey, helicopter and every Disney character under the sun to put a smile on their face.

Thank you for being an honest man. A hardworking man. And a godly man.

Thank you for going along with my crazy ideas – like going camping for two nights with two toddlers. It’s going to be fun, I just know it.

Thank you for making me feel beautiful, when we both know I’m on day three of dry shampoo and sweatpants are my jam.

I love you more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow.

– Your stay at home wife

Pictures c/o Lindsey Cassidy Photography

Ergo 360 Baby Carrier

Every Friday, I’m going do a blog post highlighting a product that I absolutely love! I’m really excited about this, because there are so many things that have made my mom life easier, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

First up, is the Ergo 360 Baby Carrier. We have been a fan of Ergo from the start, but when they came out with their 360 version, we couldn’t contain our excitement. We were dying to find a safe, ergonomically correct carrier that held our babies front facing.



Pictures c/o Ergobaby

We used the Ergo 360 with our second daughter, and she absolutely loved it. I also loved it. Here’s why:

  • It is ergonomic
  • Forward facing option
  • Privacy hood (50 SPF) for nursing and/or nap time!
  • It has a wide waistband for extra back support (yes, please!)
  • Adjustable padded shoulder straps
  • Made for 12-45 lbs. But also has an option for a newborn insert
  • It is SO comfortable
  • Very easy to breastfeed
  • Four positions: front carry (facing in), front carry (facing out – 5 months), hip carry (6 months+), back carry (6 months+)

My girls are 18 months apart, so this really was a life saver for me when I had my second! It gave me more confidence when going places because I could easily hold my toddler’s hand. It’s structure is so well made!

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How to Boost Child’s Immune System

How to Boost Your Child’s Immune System

It’s that time of year again. The flu and germs are everywhere. Instead of being a hermit, we load up on immune boosters and pray we can keep the colds away! Here are some things you can do to boost your child’s immune system.

Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. Please do your own research and check with your physician/pediatrician before starting any new supplement.

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1. Elderberry Syrup: This can be used for major cold and flu relief, as well as boosting your immune system! You can either make this at home or buy it. We have done both. For the girls we absolutely love these elderberry gummies. I would prefer to give them the syrup, but my youngest is not a fan. To make it at home we use this recipe and order the berries on Amazon.

2. Honey: Honey is a natural immune booster and anti-inflammatory agent. It also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties to help fight infections from viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Give me allllll the honey! Make sure you wait until the littles are at least one year old with this one.

3. Vitamin D: Studies have shown that Vitamin D helps your body fight off a wide range of infections. Our culture is extremely deficient in Vitamin D. Getting out in the sun (with proper sun protection) is one of the best ways to soak up some Vitamin D!

4. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is one of the best things you can take when you have a cold, and aid in preventing one. We have personally used a Vitamin C Spray with my oldest. She loves it! My sister in law currently uses a Vitamin C powder and swears by it. We just ordered some of this as well! #stayawayflu

5. Breastfeeding: I think we all know about this one! Without a doubt, an incredible way to benefit your baby’s immune system.  Breastmilk contains antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. I’m actually waiting to wean my almost two year old until flu season is over!

6. Sleep: We could do all of the things listed above, but if we aren’t resting we are putting our immune system at risk. Sleep deprivation suppresses our immune system.

7. Probiotics: Probiotics are full of “good bacteria” that help protect our digestive tracts and shield us from invading bacteria and viruses. We use this one and love it!

8. FOOD! The most important one in my book. Food really does control so many things, including the immune system. Here are some foods that can aid in boosting your immune system:

  • Yogurt – because of all the probiotics
  • Vegetables – especially greens and carrots
  • Eggs, lean meats and everything protein
  • Garlic – sneak it in somewhere! It has antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • Fish – full of Omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats
  • Fruit – the deeper and darker the fruit, the better! Yay antioxidants!

9. Exercise: Kids don’t usually need a lot of push to get out there and move! Exercise can boost your immune system by providing a boost to the cells in your body that are designed to attack bacteria. Get out there and play! 

10. Wash your hands: This is especially important before and after meals, after playing outside, blowing their nose, handling pets and using the bathroom.

Did I miss any immune boosters? Let me know in the comments below! You can never have enough!

Here are some of our favorite products that we have used and absolutely love:

10 Ways Simplifying has Changed my Life

10 Ways Simplifying has Changed my Life

Simplifying has changed my life is so many ways. In the past year, I have intentionally simplified our family life, our home, our schedules and my motherhood. We still have a long way to go, but I just have to share how simplifying has benefited our family.

I have listened to podcasts, read books, and “Pinterested” way too many articles on simplifying and minimalism. I first started implementing strategies after listening to Allie Casazza’s podcast. Game changer. It wasn’t a new concept to me, but it really gave me the practical advice I needed. You’ll want to follow Allie. Her knowledge and wisdom has been instrumental in my motherhood and marriage. Emily Ley has also been a great wealth of knowledge. She is raising three kids and rockin’ being a business owner and a mom. Her book, A Simplified Life, has some of the most practical advice I’ve ever read! It was a great addition to our simplifying process. Keep reading to see 10 ways simplifying has changed my life!

I always thought that because we didn’t have a lot of stuff, we were living simple. We have a small home and live frugally.  But here’s the deal. We did have a lot of stuff! I just didn’t realize it because it was usually tucked away. If you were to come by to visit about a year ago, there would be a 50/50 chance that you were about to walk into a toddler tornado, or a mostly tidy and clean home. I cleaned when I could, and when our schedule allowed. If I had a few days of just staying home, I would clean consistently. If our calendar was full for a few days, the house was let go. It wasn’t terrible, but I always found myself wishing I could get a system down that would simplify our home and cleaning process.

Turns out, there is a way. I’ve learned a lot from my research, but also from practicing these things in my own life. One things I try my best to live by is something that Emily Ley talks about in her Book, A Simplified Life: only keep the best, the necessary and your favorite. This was the foundation for my simplifying and decluttering process.

Here are a few ways simplifying has changed my life:

  1. I spend less time cleaning. It’s incredible. I thought to have a clean home I would literally have to be cleaning all the time. That or hire someone. Not the case at all. Since we have gotten rid of the things we don’t need, there is not as much laundry, dirty dishes or overflow of stuff lying around. Things can’t pile up like they used to because we only have what we need. Which means there is not as much laundry or dishes to wash. I’ll go into this more on the practical post I’ll be making soon!
  2. It gave my kids the opportunity to give. My girls are only 3.5 and 2 years old. But those girls LOVE to give. They love helping and I want to foster that as they grow. My two year old can’t quite understand, but I’ll explain to them that there are other kids in need that don’t have a lot to play with, and since we have extra, we can share our toys with them. It’s hard to explain, but when my three year old understands the why behind this process, she is so excited to be a part of it.
  3. It simplified my cleaning process. Emily Ley recommends doing a load of laundry a day. We don’t have quite enough for that, but we have implemented doing a load every other day. I try to throw in a load in the washer in the morning and fold it as soon as it’s done so it’s not weighing me down. Incorporating this into our schedule is key. I am not perfect at it, but I try if at all possible to be consistent. When I have to do the more time consuming tasks like mopping and vacuuming, I include the girls when I can. Sometimes they have to find ways to keep themselves busy, but when they are included they feel such a sense of accomplishment. They just can’t wait to tell Daddy about it!
  4. Our home is more peaceful. My goal from day one of starting a family has been to cultivate a peaceful home. I am in better spirits when things are clean. My husband and myself both feel less stressed when the house is in order. We slowly added things like picking up after ourself every time into our everyday. It may take more time at the moment, but it saves SO much time at the end of the day.
  5. It is consistent. Most of the time. There are definitely times when life happens and things are thrown off. But it makes it so much easier to play catch up when you’re just picking up from a few days of busy, rather than weeks of things piling up. Being as consistent as possible is key to keeping things simple.
  6. I am a happier Mom. When I first became a mom, I kept hearing “It’s ok, the dishes can wait. Enjoy the moment.” And I 100% agree with this. I cherish moments with my babes everyday. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t ever clean. I realized that I am happier and I am a better mom when things around me are in order. And that’s ok. The dishes can wait, but not forever.
  7. Simplifying gives us room to enjoy our everyday. It allows for the things that matter. If we want to spontaneously go somewhere, it doesn’t stress me out anymore because we are not drowning in mess.
  8. Routines and structure work best for kids. It’s a chance for me to teach them how to keep a home. They know that before we move on to our next activity, we have to pick up the one we just finished. When I first implemented these things, there was a lot of push back. After a lot of repetition, they have finally caught on and most of the time it is not a fight. They know that this is how we do things in our home.
  9. It became easier to say “no.” I’ve never been much of a shopper, but after we decluttered, it made me realize that I only need to purchase something if I absolutely love it. I want to surround myself with things that are life-giving and make my home better. The same goes for toys and clothes. A few questions I ask myself: Do we need it? Do I love it? Is there room for it? Before I purchase it, I have to answer yes to all of these.
  10. Everything has it’s place. No more “junk piles.” Raise your hand if you have a junk pile by your back door. We still struggle with this, but are definitely getting better. If I notice a pile starting, I try to jump on it as soon as I can so it doesn’t get out of control.

I try to use the decluttering and simplifying process to glorify God. God has given me a family and I want to take care of them as best as I can. I look at cleaning and organizing as a way of giving to my family.

These may seems like little things, and by themselves they are! But if you can start to slowly implement them in your home, they will really make a difference! I am very passionate about how this has changed our life, so if you have any questions at all please let me know through the Contact tab! Thanks so much for reading. Good luck simplifying!

I’ll be doing a practical post soon on how I simplified and decluttered. Be on the look out! In the mean time, read this book!!!

Update! Here is the practical post: 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life This Week

What I Wish I knew as a First Time Mom

What I Wish I Knew as a First Time Mom

First time Mom probs. I had a lot of them. It was so hard to see when I was in the thick of it, but I was having a tough time adjusting to motherhood. I loved being a mom, I loved (almost) every aspect of taking care of my baby. But just like many first time moms – I struggled.

I struggled with control.

I struggled with worrying.

I forgot about my husband.

I isolated myself.

When I was pregnant with my first, I received so much advice on how to do this mom thing well. Good advice, bad advice, advice that made me go… “say what?” All kinds of advice. But it didn’t matter what I heard or read, nothing could prepare me for what motherhood would be like. No one knows what they will be like as a mom, until they are a mom. So regardless of the advice you hear, remember that your journey is just that, it’s yours. Take the advice you like and leave the rest. And if you need to adjust or seek different advice once you are a mom, you do that!

I was so caught up in preparing to be a mom. Like most of us, I dreamed about what motherhood would be like. Since I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a mom. Needless to say, I put A LOT of pressure on myself. I just wanted to do this mom thing right. But man, when you put those kind of expectations on yourself, you’re bound to fail.

Here are some things I wish I knew as a first time mom:

  1. Things will not go as planned. From the time that baby is out of you, things will probably not be the way you pictured it. When I first became a mom, I found myself feeling so disappointed with the smallest things. I was striving for perfection, and it is not even close to attainable. Grace on grace on grace. There’s beauty in the unpredictable moments. Rather than letting those moments stress me out, I wish I would’ve seen them as opportunities to lean on God even more.
  2. Take a minute, or thirty-seven for yourself. I was so fearful of something going wrong if I left her with someone. She was used to me and how I did things, what if the person watching her didn’t know those things? It’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to benefit everyone. I needed time for myself that I didn’t think I needed. The baby needed time away from me. Grandma got some one on one time in. It was hard, but it got easier each time.
  3. Include your significant other. I read all the books. All the blog posts. All the articles. I was ready to tackle whatever this baby would bring. My husband couldn’t possibly know what to do because he didn’t read the books. Turns out, he did know what to do! He’s Daddy. He knew how to love that child and bond with her. At times me and my internet knowledge got in the way of that.
  4. Grandparents want and need to help. My biggest regret from early parenthood is that I pushed them away rather than welcomed them in. I was so over-protective that they felt like they were walking on egg shells. That was their grand baby and I was just sitting there keeping her to myself! Goodness, I wish I could go back to those early days and share her with the people that love her so much.
  5. You will fail… daily. I wish I could tattoo grace on my forehead. Maybe I’ll run that idea by my husband and see how he feels about it. I failed daily and I still do. I used to beat myself up over it and feel like such a failure if things didn’t go as planned. I’ve learned to give myself grace in those moments. All I can do is all I can do. And as long as I’m doing my best, that’s all that matters.
  6. FIND MOM FRIENDS. I can’t emphasize this enough. As my daughter got older, I made this a priority. But I didn’t realize how important it was until I developed those friendships. We are all in this together. Put yourself out there. Go to MOPS. Go to Chick-fil-A where dreams come true. Invite another mom over for a play date. We need adult conversation and our kids need to interact with other kids. Get out there, mama!
  7. You will sleep again. I remember being in zombie mode for months. I was trying to enjoy the early days, but I was just so dang tired. The whole “sleep when the baby sleeps” didn’t make sense to me because there was always so much to be done. But looking back, I should’ve just slept.
  8. Do what is best for YOUR family. Oh the opinions that come in. It never stops. We are all doing what’s best for our family. Mom shaming is real, don’t let yourself go there. Don’t compare what you’re doing to what other moms are doing. Do what is best for your family and know that they are doing what’s best for their family.
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. “No. We are ok. Thank you though.” My classic response as a first time mom. “It takes a village” is a real thing. When someone offers help, take them up on it. You deserve a break and if you don’t want to leave your baby, have someone come over so you can take a nap while they watch them.
  10. Try really hard to cherish the moments you want to remember. I was so worried about every little thing that I forgot to stop and really enjoy those sweet, subtle moments. Was I doing the right thing with the schedule and nursing and diaper changes? Who knows. I just know I was doing my best, and I’ve learned to recognize those sweet moments, and stop to really cherish them.

11. It’s not about the pictures. I’m a photographer, so I am all about the pictures. But I also think there’s a time for it. Sometimes it can really take away from those moments. You don’t have to take a picture of every little thing. My fondest memories aren’t on my iPhone, they’re in my heart because I was really present for it.

12. Nap time is your time. Tired? Sleep. Want to read a good book? Do it. Call up a friend? Go for it. Whatever you do, do not let yourself feel bad about it. Nap time is an opportunity to take care of you. Without self care we can’t be the best version of ourselves. So take the bubble bath!

What a gift it is to be a mom. Enjoy it. Cherish it. Be the best mom you can be and call it a day. Don’t let yourself overthink every little thing from that day. Tomorrow is a new day with new mercies. And if all else fails, get yourself a DONUT.

5 Reasons We Had a Home Birth

Woahhhh. I had no idea the responses I would get when we started telling people we were having a home birth. I was confident in my decision, but sometimes people wondered if we were on the crazy train. We had a hospital birth with my first, and overall things went well. I was induced (10 days overdue) and was able to have a natural birth which I was thankful for. But there was something about the idea of having your baby at home that seemed so comforting to me. We decided to use a local birth center. Originally we were going to have the baby at their facility. We currently had an 18 month old that had not spent a night away. I hated the thought of her first night away being when her sister entered the world. After talking with the birth center, we found out they offer home births as well and decided to deliver at home.

The story goes a little something like this. My husband had been up for almost 24 hours. He was working swing shift at the time and had just come off night shift. He was up the whole following day. We were getting ready to go to bed around 11:00pm, and I started feeling something. I looked at my husband and said, “I think it’s happening.” He said, “Are you sure? Can it wait until morning?” I tried not to laugh but I know I did. I told him I don’t think it works like that and we should probably call the midwife. Poor guy was so tired. But I was also getting ready to birth a baby so I could only give so much grace in that moment.


We had a friend come stay with our toddler. She was in and out of sleep all night. So it was wonderful having our friend there to help keep her company. She also came in to say “hi” to Mommy and Daddy before things really got going. Those were some special moments.


I loved doing the “slow dance” motion during my contractions with my first birth, and I followed suit with the second as well. I just wanted to stand and sway. Things really got going around 3:00am. Intense contractions with small breaks in-between. Which I never got when I was induced. What a relief to have a break! Even if for just a few minutes. My water broke around 4:50am and I was ready to push right after that. Olivia was born at 5:05am. She was twelve days late, only to be born on Leap Day!

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  1. I didn’t have to go anywhere. Being in the comfort of my home was incredible. I didn’t have to ask if I could do anything. My midwife was calm and gave me confidence that I was doing a great job. Also, not packing a hospital bag was the cherry on top.
  2. My toddler didn’t have to go anywhere. I remember finding out we were pregnant and immediately thinking about how she would adjust to this new addition. She was able to meet her little sister at home. Shortly after Olivia was born she came into our room and got to hug and kiss her for the first time. It was one of the sweetest moments I can remember. It’s a moment that will forever melt my heart.
  3. Comfort in knowing that if something were to go wrong, my midwife would be on top of it. The biggest question we received was, “What if something goes wrong?” Midwives are very well trained and are definitely aware of what to do if something does go wrong. They are not shy about that. We were well aware that if they think anything may be wrong in any way, they wouldn’t hesitate to get us where we need to be. Not once did I question if we were in good hands. My husband did just admit to me the other day that he was “freaking out” the whole time. But I was fine. Must’ve been his sleep deprivation.
  4. Sleep in my own bed. Y’all. After everything was said and done, we took the longest family nap ever. It was so needed. No one was waking us up. We just slept. I felt so much more rested this time around, and I credit it to the fact that we could sleep when we wanted to. Aside from the feedings every 2-3 hours of course.
  5. I could do whatever I wanted to do. I remember looking at my friend, who had also had a home birth, and asking her, “Is it ok to eat a banana?” She assured me I could do whatever I wanted to do. That was a good feeling. And that was one good banana.


I am thankful for the opportunity to have a baby at home. It was a beautiful experience and we hope to have all our future children at home as well.

Do you have any questions about home birth? Have you had a home birth yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

The Best Marriage Advice We Ever Received

When my husband and I were in premarital counseling, our counselor gave us some advice that definitely helped our marriage get started on the right foot. We were given many resources on starting a healthy marriage, keeping each other first, among other great advice. But one thing that stood out to me the most was this: “Only speak highly of your spouse.” 

I know some of you are cringing, but hear me out. When we first got married I thought, well I’ve got this one in the bag. I would never speak poorly of my husband because he is the most amazing person to ever live and I get to marry him! Right? Totally my train of thought. It’s very easy to say what we will and won’t do in marriage until we’re actually… married.

I found myself at times going to complain about something my husband had done or ask another wife if her husband struggled with something similar. It’s only natural for us to want to voice those things. Now, there’s a difference in saying, “His snoring keeps me up all night,” and “I am so tired of picking up after him.” The snoring is something he can’t control. Picking up after himself is something he can control. I told myself if it is something that he can control, then he should be the one I’m talking to about it. If I ran to my girlfriend and complained about him not picking up after himself, who would that benefit? No one. If our husbands don’t know that what they are doing bothers us, how can they fix it? I quickly realized that they cannot read our minds… unfortunately. We have to communicate… over-communicate.

My husband and I both agreed to make this a priority in our marriage. We have both slipped up at times, but for the most part this rings true. What comes out of our mouth is an overflow of what’s in our heart. My heart is for my husband, my words need to be as well.


When I feel myself getting frustrated or bothered by something my husband is doing I ask myself a few questions:

  • Does he know this bothers me? 
  • Is it something he can control?
  • Is it something I need to let go? 
  • Is it worth bringing up? 

If he doesn’t know it bothers me, I try to kindly and respectively say something. That way he is aware, and I’m not letting it build up and continue to bother me. If he does already know that it bothers me, I speak up. I like to call them “friendly reminders.” If it’s out of his control, I try to adjust. If it’s something that will continue to bother me if I don’t say anything? Then yes, I will bring it up. If it’s something silly that can easily be let go, I try my best to let it go.

There are things in marriage that I will want to complain about. I try to turn that focus to what my spouse is doing well rather than complain about what bothers me. What a great feeling for your spouse – to know that you are only speaking highly of them. We all have our faults, but our spouse should always have our back and our best interest in mind.

We are not perfect at this by any means, but the more aware I am of how I am speaking about my spouse has saved me many times. I never want to put my spouse in a negative light or put him down to others. We are a team and we are called to build each other up.

I do this in hope that he is doing the same for me. I put myself in my spouse’s shoes. Would I want him complaining about me to others? No. I would rather him come to me with whatever is bothering him so we can tackle it together.

Check out this post to see a list of our top ten favorite marriage books!

Let me know if this is something that you try to do or something you’re working on! I’d love to hear from you. Comment below! 


*This is a general overview or how speaking highly of your spouse can be beneficial for your marriage. There are definitely times when something needs to be said. This post is in no way referring to abuse situations.

Don’t Wish Moments Away…

Don’t wish moments away… but what about the hard moments? I really want to wish those away. I want to skip through those and get to the good ones. The reality is that there will be hard moments throughout our motherhood journey. There most definitely, without a doubt, be hard moments. I’m only 3.5 years into this thing and the hard moments are much more present than I would prefer. I find myself thinking: “This will be easier when she’s 4, or 5, or 12.” What I’ve realized is that each age is going to be challenging. Each age will have wonderful moments and hard moments. The beauty is that those moments are just that – moments. Moments that will pass. Moments that will probably get harder before it gets better.


I have to stop wishing these moments away. What an opportunity we are given when these hard moments come. An opportunity to lean on God and seek his face when we feel like we have nothing left. It’s such an honor to raise these little people, but it can also be a daunting task at times. I have cried out to God so many times because of these moments. He reminds me that this will pass. He surrounds me with the peace that passes all understanding. And turns out I can never understand it. How does He do that? He just wraps us up and this overwhelming peace just takes over.

Instead of wishing those moments away, I’m trying to see them as opportunities. Opportunities to hear from the Lord. To feel His presence even when things are hard. He’s teaching me that these hard moments are an opportunity to get closer to Him. I’m learning more about myself (especially my weaknesses), and in the midst of disciplining toddlers and trying to stay sane – I’m learning how to be a better person. How to be more patient and understanding. While I definitely do not enjoy this hard part of parenting, I can see what God’s doing there.  We’re disciplining our children, while God is giving us chances to grow. Now trust me, I fail at this daily. More like hourly. But when I can do it well, I can look back and thank God for giving me that opportunity to teach my children, as well as grow as a Mom.


I’ve learned that it’s ok to not like the hard moments. That phrase, “Enjoy it, it goes by so fast” is most definitely true. But I have had some really long days, some really hard moments. And during those times I am not enjoying it. That’s ok. I remind myself often that it’s ok to not enjoy the moments that are frustrating and confusing. I remind myself that these children are just longing to be heard and understood. They want us to hear them so badly. Am I? Am I really listening to their heart? Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp talks deeply about this. The root of the problem is in their heart. So many times when I want to react to a behavior, I try to stop myself to figure out what’s really going on. Number one, are they hungry? Number two, are they tired? If we rule these out then we can really start searching.

In those hard moments when I really don’t want to search their heart, I’ve realized that’s when I’m missing it. I’m missing an opportunity to learn more about my child and their heart. My oldest is three and she able to let me know what’s going on. I may have to translate it for someone else, but I totally get her. I try to take that opportunity to hear her, really hear her and figure out what the root of the problem is. Because their behaviors are just that – moment by moment changing emotions that take over and come out through their behavior. But what about what’s underneath that behavior? Sinful nature, yes. But what else? I’m diving deep into this, and I pray that you will come along with me. Share what you’re learning about this things called motherhood. Let me know how we can better search our child’s heart instead of just the surface of their behavior.

Thank you so much for being here and hearing my heart. Comment below and let me know your thoughts on this topic. We Mama’s have to help each other out!

photography by Love + Covenant

4 Ways to Stay Connected In-between the Date Nights…

Date nights. I think we can all agree that they are from the Lord. There are all kinds of date nights – the few and far between, the monthly, the weekly, the bi-weekly. Whatever your date night of choice is –  we know that they are sacred. Adults of small children love to spend uninterrupted time together. We have gone through seasons of weekly date nights, and then we’ve had moments when we say, “we should probably go on a date night since it’s been a little over three months.” We’ll set a schedule and then life happens and date nights get put on the back burner. Right now we are doing twice a month date nights. It’s working out well. It definitely gives us something to look forward to. But what about the time in-between date nights? How are we getting quality time in? I find myself craving time with my husband, but have a hard time making it a priority.

Let me just say that this time is precious. These moments with our littles are fleeting. And I know it is flying by. But I think something that we should also be talking about is the everyday struggle of focusing on your spouse in the midst of parenting babies and/or toddlers. They are all consuming. Spending focused time with your spouse can be difficult at times. What if the kids don’t nap at the same time? What if they’ve given up napping altogether? What if you are so exhausted by the end of the day that you can barely keep your eyes open to focus on your spouse?

I ask these questions because we are in the throes of it. We have a one year old and a three year old. Spending time with my husband is something I desire, but feel like I fail at often. To be honest, I’ve deeply struggled with keeping my husband first in the midst of all-consuming toddlers. I want to give him the best of me, but there are days when I feel like there’s nothing left. I’ve prayed through this, and reached out to others but haven’t gotten any solid answers. Pinterest even left me feeling disappointed. Which can only mean one thing – it’s time to get creative.


1. Couch Time – Allie Cassazza ( talks about this on her podcast. She and her husband spend time together at the end of the day and just catch up. We are trying to incorporate this into our everyday. We want to have just a few minutes to sit on the couch together and try to connect. We talk about how we’re doing and bring up anything that may have been on our heart throughout the day. We pull out an activity for the girls (1 & 3 years old) that we know will keep them busy for at least a few minutes so we can have this time. Ideally we would have this type of conversation before bed, but we are both so exhausted at that time and want to give each other as much focused time as possible.

2. Daily Devotional – Whether you have time with your spouse in the morning, evening, or during the day – a daily devotional will change the game. These devotionals will start the conversation for you, so there’s no pressure to figure out what you’re going to talk about. We are currently going through The Love Dare Day by Day. It’s wonderful!

3. Car Ride – Depending on the age of your kids, a car ride might just be the perfect time to spend time together. We have taken advantage of this many times. After the babies get past the “I hate the car seat and nothing will make it better” phase, it can definitely work. Coloring books are usually involved. Oh and side note –  Color Wonder books will change your life. They have markers that only write on the page of the coloring book. These people are geniuses. Snacks are also a winner in our book. It’ll give us at lease 10 minutes. If we are feeling a little out of sorts or that we just simply aren’t connected, we will take a car ride. It’s good to get out of your house and in a different environment for a little while, even if it’s a short conversation. It’ll be focused time to reconnect.

4. The Nap Time Quickie – Like a quick(ie) conversation. Sheesh, it’s not that kind of blog. But listen, it can be whatever you want it to be. Let’s just keep it to ourselves. If the stars align and your children nap at the same time and your husband is home – do not pass up this opportunity. I will say it again – stop what you are doing and go find your husband. There will always, ALWAYS be something to do. I am so guilty of not wanting to deviate from the to-do list. But in these times of being parents to small children, you have to jump at these opportunities. I never regret putting everything else aside to spend time with my husband.

It took a while to figure all of this out, and we’re still figuring it out! Is there anything you do with your spouse everyday? Anything that helps connect you quickly instead of waiting for a date night? Let me know in the comments below! 

10 Marriage Books That Transformed Our Marriage

10 Marriage Books That Transformed Our Marriage

My husband and I wouldn’t be where we are today without the wisdom and knowledge of others. Each one of these marriage books has been instrumental in shaping who we are as a married couple. Between premarital counseling and these resources – we have been able to develop a strong foundation that has prepared us for very difficult times in our marriage.

If you have any questions about the books listed below, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer them to the best of my ability. They are in no particular order, but here are 10 books that transformed our marriage!

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1.  Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs – This is the most instrumental tool for learning about the main difference between the needs of men and the needs of women. It is completely Bible based, and thoroughly explains why men need unconditional respect and women need unconditional love. It has helped us meet each other’s deepest needs in our marriage! 

2. The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller – We actually read this book during our premarital counseling and it was really eye-opening. It helped us dig deeper and ask the questions we needed to ask. This book highlights the importance of having a deep friendship with your spouse. It also gives basic instruction on how to have a successful marriage. Great read for sure!

3. Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas – The main message of this book is that marriage is more about making you holy, rather than happy. Yes, happiness is a result, but not the ultimate goal. It gives practical tools that you can use to immediately start making improvements in your marriage. It has helped us love God and love others well.


4. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman – I’m sure you’ve heard of this one! It’s one of the most popular relationship books out there. It is all about how we give and receive love. It will be a huge eye opener!

5. Wife After God by Jennifer Smith – This is a 30 day devotional focused on bringing you closer to your husband and to God. It definitely did that for me. It helped me take a closer look at how I viewed God and how I viewed and treated my husband. I highly recommend it! Jennifer’s husband also wrote a book called Husband After God , that aims to motivate and challenge men to draw closer to God and to their wife.


6. For Women Only and For Men Only by Shaunti Feldhahn – My husband and I actually read these on a road trip when we were engaged. We were heading to see my family and had a ten hour drive ahead of us – so we decided to make the most of it. We actually read these out loud to each other. I read For Women Only which talks all about what we need to know about the inner lives of men. My mind was blown, I remember I kept asking him, “Really? Is that true? Do you really feel that way in certain situations?” And vice versa, he read For Men Only to me. It was great for our relationship and really helped get us talking about what matters.


7. The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler – This is a great book all around, but we found it was especially focused on the dating/engaged phase. Matt Chandler helps us understand that this thing called love isn’t all about our emotions. We cannot let our emotions rule us, but rather we need to focus on what God’s Word says about love an intimacy.

8. The Love Dare Day by Day: A Year of Devotions for Couples by Stephen and Alex Kendrick – What better way to stay on top of your marriage than a devotional? The Love Dare is meant to challenge you and your spouse to grow deeper to each other and to the Lord. It has 52 weekly dares and a daily time of reading, prayer and action. Such a great practical book!

9. Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Dr. Les and Leslie Parrott – This is another one we read prior to getting married. But it has also helped us after being married. The principles are focused on things you should ask before, during and after marriage. I suggest getting the workbooks that go along with it as well! This book is perfect for those who are engaged or in the newlywed phase!

10. Couples Devotional Bible, NIV by Zondervan – This one is probably our most used book. We were gifted this at our wedding and I am forever thankful! It is a full Bible, but has devotionals throughout it. I love how each devotion corresponds with scripture. And it’s special for my husband and I to have a Bible that belongs to both of us. The only thing I wish is that we utilized it more. We love it!


Limited Screen Time Isn’t Just for Kids…


I was recently playing catch with my daughter and trying to check emails at the same time. I like to think I’m really good at multi-tasking. However, when my toddler came and gently grabbed my phone and put it on the table and said “not right now…” I got the hint. I’m not proud of that moment, it actually makes me really sad. Thankful for God’s grace on this one. And for the chance to improve in this area.

I love being able to work from home, but I go through these seasons of doing it well and doing it no so well. It hurts my heart to think that my children are not getting the best of me. The point of me staying home is so that I can spend more time with them. I know it’s time to set clear boundaries. The first being screen time.

I’ve read numerous articles about screen time suggestions for kids. Our family rule is to limit their screen time to an hour while I prepare dinner. Mama gets a break and the kids get to sit back and enjoy the best of Netflix. We also have family movie nights once a week. This works well for our kids, and they look forward to that time.

But what about parents? Who’s limiting our screen time? This has been on my heart for a while, and I can imagine I’m not the only one thinking about this. My girls are really good at keeping themselves busy, which in turn can leave me thinking: what can I get done? I’m working on changing that mentality. As women, we know that there is always something to do. Always someone we need to get back to. Always something that needs to be cleaned. How do we separate the do-list from playtime? To me it’s simple – put the phone down. Turn off the notifications and be present with my kids.

I don’t want my girls to look back and remember Mom being with them, but constantly checking her phone. They deserve better, and I can give them better.

Here are some ways that are helping me improve in this area:

  1. Setting alarms on my phone throughout the day to check emails and messages (every 4 hours), and ONLY checking at these intervals.
  2. Turning off ALL notifications – even text messages. If someone really needs me, they will call. Those messages aren’t going anywhere.
  3. Putting my phone in a designated spot. Knowing that my phone is in it’s place is a great reminder that it needs to stay there. Placing it to charge in our guest room has worked out well, since we rarely go in there.
  4. Using a paper planner. I can’t say enough about this. Since I stopped using my phone as my calendar, I really have no excuse to need it. I can check our meal plan and schedule throughout the day – without a phone. Also, Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner is adorable and gives me the warm fuzzies.
  5. Designated work hours. I hope to one day really nail this down. For now my work hours consist of early morning before the kids wake up, nap time, and after they go to bed. We will occasionally hire a sitter for a few hours. But my husband and I both work from home, so we will trade off watching the kids periodically. It can be exhausting. We are working on this one for sure!


How are you limiting screen time? What are you doing to be more present with your kids? Comment below! I would love to hear from you!

Polk County Activities Your Kids Will Love!

As a stay at home mom, I’m not very good at staying home. I like to leave the house at least once a day, and it’s generally for an outing in the morning – so we can wear them out for nap time (you know you do it too!). We generally stick to the same places. They are all in Polk County and my kids (three years old and almost two) LOVE them. Here’s some of our favorite Polk Country activities!


1. Bok Tower’s Children’s Garden (Lake Wales, FL)


Bok Tower is our absolute favorite right now! We have been members for almost a year and it has been worth every penny. I cannot say enough about this place. Please go and you will see the amazingness that is Bok Tower! I have an almost two year old and three year old and it is perfect for them. I love that it is an open door to explore. There are so many things for the kids to do, but it all includes playing, exploring and using their imagination! There is also one way in and one way out – which makes it much less stressful for moms!

  • Price: Kids under 5 are free, kids 5-12 are $5, adults are $14. They also offer annual passes which I think are totally worth it!
  • Hours: 365 days/year; 8:00am – 5:00pm

Check out Bok Tower’s website to see more details.

2. Explorations V Children’s Museum (Lakeland, FL)


Our favorite spot in Lakeland! It is perfect for a rainy day or even those really hot ones that hit us so often in Florida. I’ve really enjoyed this place, I mean my kids have really enjoyed it. It’s enjoyable all around! We invested in passes last year and will be renewing soon. It’s another one that is worth it to us. They have three floors and each one will keep your littles busy and happy for a while. They also offer classes while you are there. We have been there for art class and music class and have loved them both! There’s so much to do here, you really can’t go wrong! Oh, and there’s a gated tot area – we all need one of those!

  • Price: Children under 2 are free, children and adults are $9.
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 9:00am – 5:30pm

3. Toddler Time – Lakeland Public Library

We’ve gone to a few different libraries, and this is our favorite! Toddler time is geared towards children two to three years old. They do songs and stories, and usually integrate activities based on the theme. My girls both LOVE this and really look forward to it. It lasts about 25 minutes, then we head over to the play area that has legos, puzzles, coloring and of course books. We generally spend another 20 minutes there. What I love most about this is the time it starts. They begin at 10:00am. For the little ones that like to nap around 11:00, this is perfect! We highly recommend it! They also have a preschool class and baby class on other days!

  • Price: FREE
  • When: Every Wednesday at 10:00am

4. Open Gym at Gymnastics Etc.  (Lakeland, FL)


Open Tot Gym is another favorite of ours! Gymnastics, etc. opens up a huge area of their gym for kids aged 1-5 years old. They have two long trampolines, large areas just to run around, an inflatable bounce area, and a ton of things to climb on and play with! My girls love it.

  • Price: $5/first child, $4 each additional
  • Hours: Wednesday (during the school year only) and Thursday 11:00am – 12:00pm

5. Common Ground Park (Lakeland, FL)


Parks made me pretty nervous when I had my second child. Especially once she started moving and I started chasing two around! Common Ground has been a great park for us. We try to go during the week when it’s not too crowded and I dress my girls in bright colors to keep track of them! There’s a large sand pit, and a play area for older kids as well as younger kids. It’s our favorite park in Polk County!

6. Chick-fil-A (Winter Haven, FL)

Let’s be honest. Every mom loves Chick-fil-A. You really can’t go wrong with the most amazing food and a play place. If we want to get out the house with minimal effort, Chick-fil-A if our destination of choice. We prefer the one in Winter Haven. It’s always SO clean and it has a great play place. And of course, the staff is incredible. Also, if you’re not doing mobile orders yet – it’s time to start. We order it when we leave our house, and it’s ready when we get there. No waiting in line – yes, please!


Thanks so much for being here! Drop a comment below and let me know what you and your children love to do in Polk County. We are always looking for new things to do!

How Motherhood is Sanctifying Me

I knew my marriage would sanctify me, but motherhood? That was a curve ball. I didn’t realize motherhood would bring out sides of me I never knew were there. It has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever done – and I once ate an entire pizza in one sitting. But seriously, it made me really check myself.

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Here are some ways it’s sanctified me so far:

1. It’s made me more patient

Lord, has it. Patience was my thing, I really thought I had it down. Then the toddler years hit. I think most of us think we would handle things much better than we actually do. I try to give myself grace, but sometimes I find myself thinking – “Who are you? Why are you so impatient?” Grace, grace and more grace please. I’ve learned so much about God’s grace in these times. I’ve asked my kids to forgive me many times. If I’m teaching them to do that – I need to do the same.

2. I am more understanding

So much more understanding. You know when you’re checking out at the grocery store and your toddler sees all the goodness right at eye level tempting them? And they aren’t quite to the point yet where they understand that if Mommy says no the world will not end? And then the college student behind you gives you the stank eye? I was that person. I was the one thinking: “Get it together lady.” Well, now I get it. Now when that happens to someone else I give the look of: “It’s ok mama, it happens to all of us.” It’s made me realize that we are all doing our best at this thing called motherhood. Let’s build each other up, let’s lighten each other’s loads.


3. It’s made me seek after God more than ever

Because what else can we do? There have been times when I have sought after the Lord more than others. But nothing has brought me to my knees more than being a mom. I desire to do this job well. To raise these little people to be disciples for the Lord. I can only do that if I am being a good example for them. What I teach them – I try my best to do myself. I am so thankful for a Father that welcomes us with open arms, even when we are on the hot mess express.

4. It’s made me respect my husband more

I can usually handle a lot on my plate. Or I thought I could. But in the times where I have felt helpless with my girls, or when we are going through a really challenging time – my husband has stepped up. It has brought out a side of him I didn’t know was there. He takes the reigns and picks up the pieces. He wipes my tears and tells me we are going to be alright. There are a lot of reasons I respect him, but this one tops them all.

5. Because I know they are watching me, I think twice

I used to teach a 3rd-5th grade Sunday School class. I would go home after class and think about the lesson. I would ask myself, “Am I doing that in my own life?” The lessons were basic Biblical principles, but it really makes you think when you are teaching someone else. It’s the same with my girls. We preach kindness, patience and love. Am I exemplifying those things? Am I practicing what I preach?


6. It’s challenged me to simply be better

In all areas of my life. In my marriage – I desire for my marriage to be a good example for our girls. To know what it means to respect each other and put each other first. It’s challenged me in my friendships. I have become less judgmental and more supportive. It’s made me a better person all around. Here’s to you, motherhood!


Thanks so much for reading! I would love to hear how is motherhood sanctifying you. Drop a comment below!