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  1. Mary Arnholt says:

    OK, I’m new on your blog and so I’m a bit late on these replies! I love your coffee date agenda/flow!
    1. God is teaching me to trust in Him, let my belly go soft, and check my mindset often (am I in the sympathetic or parasympathetic?). I’m learning that He can give me margin within, in my belly, my breathing, my thoughts – but He must be my source of Life. Nothing or no one else….
    2. Treasures in the Snow
    3. My family is going in every direction it seems. My son is at a public school, my daughter is at a private Christian school, and my younger son is at a Classical, Christian, university-model school, where I teach him 2 days a week. Talk about being all over the place!!

    1. I love this!! Thank you for sharing and it’s so fun to have you in my community! xo

  2. I’m sitting here waiting for my daughter as she has a piano lesson. It’s Friday and it’s been a good week but a long one. Seems like so many are feeling that right now.
    The Lord seems to be showing me to be patient and wait on Him rather than trying to control and fix everything myself. It’s a joy to see Him at work.
    A favorite book that I read a while ago was Gently and Lowly, so good.
    Just started reading Raising Amazing, love it and left a review (under my son’s account).

  3. Tania Kallish says:

    Hi Monica! My family is entering dance competition season for my 9 year old boy. That always turns our house upside down with increased rehearsals and weekends away. As the only boy on the team, we have a different set of challenges as he is sometimes a little lonely, and there aren’t always great accomodations for boys at these events. We sure could use some prayer, for a successful, healthy competition season and that we can still be vigilent in giving our 15 year old the attention he needs during this time of focus on the little one.

  4. Hello Sister Coffee sharers…..my name is Ingrid. I could sit here all day, snuggled up in my fleecy jammers, with super cozy socks, next to the wood stove. Sharing the innards of my soul with you. Here is a little bit of my heart. In the past month my oldest son who is 21 unexectedly moved out, into another situation that is breaking my families heart. Please pray for my Josiah and his quest to find himself. The world we live in has lured him spiritually to believe things that are of this world, not of the Lords Word. And my heart constantly aches at the path he has chosen. Please pray for me and the rest of my family to follow the Lords healing path. What am I learning from Jesus right now? The pain of my Sons moving out has brought up deeper issues that need the Lords wisdom/mind to help me through. A couple of Bible stories that the Lord has planted in my mind since his departure…the story of Abraham and Isaac…Gensis 22:1-19. God told Abraham to take his only beloved son Isaac, and offer him as a burnt offering! From what I see Abraham did as God asked…..he was willing…..no questions, no crying and begging to save his beloved son. He trusted God completely. It seems to me that God was testing Abraham to see if he would trust that, “God would provide”. Job 1:21b The Lord gave and has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord. Then there is Luke 12:51-53…The Lord wants me to put Him first, before, in front of …my love for my wayward son. I need to pray for him! Yet Jesus wants ALL of my heart, soul and mind. My precious coffee friends, here is a piece of my heart, what I am learning, and what I need prayer for. Monica thank you for preparing this cozy, safe place to share.

    1. Ingrid,I really appreciate you opening that piece of your heart. I am praying for your Josiah right now and trusting God with you, that He will be Sovereign and faithful. I am so sorry for how hard this must be…My heart aches with yours! I love your faithfulness and I know it pleases the Lord. Be blessed and thank you for having coffee. (Your scene sounds so cozy!)

  5. Hi I’m Lily! The Lord has been teaching me lately that there is no person, no school, no heart too hard for Him (and Him alone) to transform! He has been opening my eyes to such freedom that I get to have from Him as His co-heir (!!) and that the responsibility is not up to me to save people, but it’s all the work of His Spirit!
    Right now I have been loving the book of John in the Bible, When Strivings Cease by Ruth Chou Simons, and Don’t Hold Back by David Platt! I’m actually going to be hearing David Platt speaking tonight!
    You can be praying for one of my friends who we will just call R to know Jesus and be filled with boldness to share him with the huntington beach area surf community!

  6. I became a mom to boy number 3 4 weeks ago tomorrow. Upon arrival, baby boy had pretty bad jaundice and after our discharge, we returned to the children’s hospital 3 days later because his levels were too high to manage at home. During our stay, he had a 10 hour stay in NICU for IVig and then we completed our stay on the infant toddler floor for a couple of days. I’ve been a mom for 5.5 years and until this, besides a pretty nasty burn on the hand of my middle child last year, we’d never even been sick enough for antibiotics. A hospital stay (even though jaundice is treatable and I’m grateful for that) was never in the plans and it shook me up more than anything else has as a mother thus far. The Lord has taught me between that and adding a 3rd, that he is truly in control. I can do nothing out of my own strength. Three small kids has rocked our world as we’ve gone from manning one to one, to working in zones. Mama is tired. I don’t get my 25-30 minutes of quiet time at 5:30Am right now. But I get the whispers to God during a 2AM feeding. I get the scripture in my heart I’m clinging to at 9AM. I get the podcast episodes during Carline and after drop offs. I get the intentional prayers during my quick 10 minute daily shower. God is teaching me that in this season… that is enough because it has to be and for the type A, over-achiever that I am… I’m learning to rest in that.

    1. I love this Joy. Bless your sweet heart. And this season, too, shall pass. I am so proud of the attitude you are choosing as you walk through it! xo

  7. Sarah Silvey says:

    I think God is teaching me endurance and patience. As a family we are memorizing the love passage and working hard to walk it out, even as we all deal with recurring germs. My kids are small and it feels like we are always sick.

    Book suggestions: The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate or Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate or anything by Cathy Gohlke. Great historical fiction!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Sarah! Love your heart! And thank you for the book rec.’s!!

  8. Staci DeVries says:

    Hi Monica,
    Listening to your podcast is like having a (one-sided 😉 conversation with a friend! You are joyful, wise, and funny. Thanks for the good questions. Here are my responses:
    #1 One thing God has been teaching me lately is to try and avoid snap judgments. God works in such mysterious ways, especially when I stay humble and curious.
    #2 Book suggestions…Daring to Hope, Where the Children Take Us, Foster the Family, Following Jesus in a Warming World
    #3 We just booked a family trip to Colorado this summer (a road trip from MI) and I can’t wait for hiking, bike rides, wildflowers, and good food.
    #4 I left an Amazon review and am on my SECOND read of Raising Amazing!

    1. Staci! I love all of this so much!!! Thank you for the sweet comment! Appreciate the book suggestions! Colorado sounds wonderful!! (My family would love that!) and thank you so so much for the Amazon review and I am thrilled that you have enjoyed Raising Amazing!! xoxox

    2. Hey Staci!! I love this comment so much, AND your name was chosen to WIN the Anthropology gift card! Hooray! Congratulations! 😉
      I’ll email you the gift card now. Hope you find something special for spring! xo

      1. Staci DeVries says:

        Oh. my. goodness! You have no idea how excited I am. THANK YOU so much! I really appreciate it!!!

  9. Brittany Peterson says:

    Hi Monica,
    Thanks for your words and book recs!! I just ordered a few and can’t wait to dive in! I am a mama of 3 boys, ages 8, 6, and 1 and I have been slowly reading your boy mom book and loving it! There are so many amazing things in there. I feel like through your book and life in general as a mama God has been really teaching me to slow down especially when it comes to my words. I have a tendency to word vomit on my boys and then get frustrated when they don’t listen… haha. God has been teaching me to respond instead of react and to choose my words carefully! It is not easy but baby steps right??

    Thank you for who you are, I feel so blessed by you and the work God is doing through you!

    Also I am going to order your raising amazing book right now!! I haven’t read it so I can’t leave a review yet but if it’s anything like Boy Mom I’m sure it is INCREDIBLE!

    1. Brittany! Oh bless you, thank you so much for the comment. That all encourages me so much. (I definitely relate to your parenting tendencies– you are not alone! :))
      Thank you so much and I do hope you enjoy Raising Amazing. (Also, I still greatly appreciate reviews for Boy Mom if you haven’t already– I am blown away by how many there are but more is always a blessing!). XOXO

  10. Rachel Northrop says:

    Hi Monica! I just watched/listened to you on the RiseUp Parenting Conference! You always have so much good insight. Well, if not the entry!
    1. God might be teaching me patience. Patience in my everyday raising 2 boys who are 10 & 12. Wow. I didn’t know it would be this exhausting. Patience in waiting for him to bring community to this new place I’ve been for 3 years now.
    2. A good book? Recently I went to Oxford with my husband and a group of Christian educators. The spouse read a book called Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan, a fictional story… “When college student Megs approaches author C.S. Lewis with her younger brother’s request to find out if Narnia is real, the author instead takes her on a magical journey through the moments in his life that led to his greatest creation.” Everyone loved it, especially because we visited CS Lewis’s home.
    3. We just went to an air show where the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels flew…has only happened twice ever! It was a fun family day. But maybe you could pray for more peace to reign in my home, that my boys would begin to love each other better and that I would have the patience to see it through. And maybe for a friend or two. Thanks!
    ~ Rachel

    1. Hey Rachel, I love your comment so much. So good… I love your heart for growing in patience. That book sounds great (I listened to another of Patti’s books about CS lewis — “becoming Mrs. Lewis” I think it was called, on audible and it was very good!). Your family day sounded so special and memorable. And yes, stopping to pray for your family right now!! God knows what you need and He will provide!! xoxo

  11. April Ikeda says:

    1. We just moved back to HI from VA. In this new season God has been strangely quiet. I’m praying about where to live/housing, starting a new Cc community, and homeschool plans for next year. I don’t know if it’s the chaos in my life but I’m not hearing an answer. So I’m doing something really scary and following my husbands lead (at least as far as our housing situation.) I’m still figuring out homeschool plans 🙂
    2. I just read two books about wwII by the same author. The first was tamer than the second (a lot more death in the second one). Called the last bookshop in London and Librarian Spy. They made WWII come alive. I’ve also been enjoying Christian fiction “harvest of gold/rubies” and pearl in the sand. I’ve read them before. I read Laddie based on Andrew Pudewas recommendation in a podcast and it was really good also. My kids really enjoyed Wednesday wars, but I wouldn’t recommend his other book “okay for now” until the kids are older . *forgive my lack of punctuation. I’m on my phone.

    1. thank you April! yay and welcome back to HI!! Love this comment and it sounds to me like you might just be hearing from God by letting your husband lead. 😉 Wise choice!! Homeschool plans will work out, I know it!
      Just jotted down all of the book rec.’s! thank you so much! xo

  12. Thank you for your coffee date post – I love hearing your heart and the victories in your family!
    Lately the Lord has been promoting me back into a season of pressing into daily faith and a greater surrender to trust in him. We are working through some parenting “bumps” with my oldest (4 year old) son. And God brought it to my attention that I’ve been searching, reading, researching and working on implementing ideas, but hadn’t actually surrendered the situation into His hands. He’s been inviting me to invest at least as much of a commitment to expect, in faith, that He has my answers and all the grace our family needs in this season, as I am relying on my own power and strength to “find a solution.”
    I would also ask for prayers as we prepare to welcome our 3rd baby in about 4 weeks time. So many things we are looking forward to but especially praying for a beautifully smooth transition for my 2 boys as they welcome a new sibling 🙂

    1. Oh Kyra, bless your heart. I love your desire to surrender and I know God will meet you there. Stopping to pray for you now! So excited about that 3rd baby and congrats in advance. Keep up the beautiful work of walking each day with the Lord! Your family is blessed.

  13. Kaylie Fitz says:

    New things with family-entering the last season of rotations before my husband is done with school. So often I feel like the witch in OZ (faintly yells, I’m melting), but God has provided so much grace for this season. I CANNOT wait to be done. It has also been a lesson in comparison. With kids ages 4,2 and 1 (all boys it’s a frat house) I am just in a season of growth in every way. God keeps reminding me to trust him in the small mundane domestic tasks when they seem endless.
    Been a very sanctifying season. 😅
    Bless 🙏

    1. Bless you Kaylie! congrats in advance and well done. Enjoy those boys! Big hugs to you!

  14. I am currently reading Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson. I typically read it while at my son’s allergy shot appointments. There is a lot of interesting little tidbits in it that I love sharing with my kids. I would highly recommend reading it for something fun and different. As for something fun family-related, we are going to Disneyland next month, along with my husband’s brother’s family and we are so excited that Splash Mountain will still be open when we are there! My favorite ride!!
    P.S. I am drinking Haleakala Sunrise with some coconut creamer. Deeeelish!

  15. Laura Bazal says:

    We may be here longer, and we are still waiting for God to work out the details on that. It’s been a season of waiting and watching God provide for my husband’s healing. He is!

    Book club read: Thursday Murder Club. Writing person’s read: On Writing (and Writers), by CS Lewis.

    1. so exciting and faith-building!! Thanks for book rec(s)! xo

      1. Laura Bazal says:

        I can send you about a dozen more if you want! I run a book club for the chaplain wives and have for about 2 years now.
        Also, fyi: Thursday Murder Club isn’t Christian but is totally doable for a Christian group to read casually. Very intelligent, humorous, and surprising!

  16. I really appreciate your writing and encouragements, Monica!
    It’s been challenging to navigate with my teen through some of his anxiety and new social changes – right in that tough stage of 8th grade going into 9th, so I’m always looking for ways to guide him in his faith and with our family’s support- your suggestions are helpful! Thank you for sharing!
    Also- thank you for some great book recommendations! Here are some that my book club has read that are a few favorites:
    1. Little Souls by Sandra Dallas (Historical Fiction)
    2. We Are the Light by Matthew Quick (Fiction)
    3. Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri
    4. The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride (Fiction)

    1. ohhh bless you. I’m convinced these stages are harder on mom than the kid, but I’m stopping to pray for your son now.
      Thank you for the book rec.s! I am excited to check those out!!

  17. I love love loveee coffee and coffee dates! Not a book club but I just finished reading Atomic Habits. Such a good read and really gets you thinking about the why behind some of the habits that you form. Looking forward to reading your new book!

    1. Yes I love Atomic Habits! (need to re-read that one! 🙂 ). xo

  18. Recently God has been teaching me so much about waiting and trusting Him. My husband and I are in the process of buying our first home! I did not realize how much waiting and how unsure we would be through all of this!
    I just started reading Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Henry. So interesting! I’ve never heard anyone talk about C. S. Lewis’s wife.
    My family needs prayer as we plan to move (hopefully) and continue to trust the Lord without stressing about the things that are out of our control. We have 4 small children, so packing and homeschooling make for very busy days. Thank you for sharing your life with us here, on Instagram and on the podcast! Also, I love our Peloton bike as well!

    1. Aww, love all of this, Hope! Thank you for sharing and I’m stopping to pray for you/your family now. God’s got you and you’re gonna do great!! xo

  19. God has been teaching me patience and to focus more on Him right now.
    There are so many things I want to happen with work, personal life etc. If I focus only in my own expectations and timelines, I feel over whelmed and defeated.
    God is teaching me I am valued where I am right now and my path will move in the right direction (it might not be my direction or be the easiest path) by putting my trust in him. I know He will guide to me and protect me and in this I have peace.
    Thank You Monica for your inspiring and heartfelt words. I always look forward to reading your newsletter. (Although not quite as much fun as when we get to talk in person,lol)

    1. I love all of this, Teresa! Praying for you and love you! xo

  20. Traci Perez says:

    We are part of an amazing community with Classical Conversations (our entire family loves the program and the people we get to do life with). Next year, I will be stepping into the role of Director, and the preparation for that begins now. It’s exciting, and I’m a little nervous, but looking forward to seeing how the Lord will use me, and stretch me, in this new role.

      1. Traci Perez says:

        Thank you so much, Monica.
        This is my first time responding to any of your blog posts, and I just want to tell you that you have been such an encouragement to me for the past three, possibly four years, so thank you 👍

  21. It has been so fun to explore your blog after reading Boy Mom. I dream of being a mother like you and empowering my boys the way you do yours.
    My husband is wonderful. He is gone 2 months out of the year for work, and those 2 months are hard on us all. I’m in the middle of that. I get discouraged at times, and my boys miss their amazing dad. When I seek to yoke myself with Jesus, then it is always easier. When I’m angry, and I kneel to pray, He helps me. Everything I do is aimed at teaching, loving, and serving my 3 boys. I need to take better care of myself so that I can take better care of them. I know what to do in theory—I sometimes struggle with the application. I’m not the most consistent mom. I’m impatient. I’m tired. I expect a lot. I want them to choose the right EVERY TIME. I am working on giving my boys choices….to empower them to seek the spirit to use their agency for good, rather than me insisting that they do things exactly my way every time. So those are my intentions and a kind of focus for my boys: Give choices. Allow for agency, our most precious gift next to the Savior himself. Let them make mistakes and learn from them within the walls of our home. But boy is it hard for me sometimes.

    1. Well Melissa, it sounds to me like you have excellent perspective, self-awareness, and the sweetest humble heart. You’re in a good place! God will provide! Thank you for sharing. Big hugs-

    2. Kaylie Fitz says:

      Girl, I just did 4 months by myself with kids 4,2 and 1. I feel this in my bones- It’s so incredibly challenging. But God is so kind -day by day, moment by moment you can do this. 🙏👏

    3. I can so relate to the challenge of watching our children make mistakes, praying that they will turn to Jesus to help and guide them.

  22. haha love the parenting meme! & the pics of your boys with their amazing shirts!…Book suggestion is “Fire Road: The Napalm Girl’s Journey through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace” it is an incredible story of a girl’s faith and how she overcame so much! Such a testimony to how God works across the world in different people’s lives!

  23. Melissa Mathewson says:

    God is so good! I’ve been really seeking him and leaning into growth in our relationship. He is teaching me to fully trust him in all areas. I have seen him answer my prayers in abundance lately. Praise God! My book club rec. Is Winning the War in Your Mind by Craig Groeschel. So so good! Even better in the audible version. Def. get the workbook too. 🙂 Just as an extra, I fully recommend The Prayers of Rest podcast by Asheritah CiuCiu. I’ve been working through them from the oldest to newest. I love how God is giving me wisdom to train my boys up right through your books, Monica, and through daily Bible readings and prayer. He is so good to meet us right where we are! Please pray my hubby and I can continue to connect regularly on this parenting journey, so we can be on the same page. I want to be more of a partner and less of a coach.
    I did leave a review on Amazon for Raising Amazing because it is fantastic!!! Thank you for all you do through Jesus for us.

    1. Melissa — what an encouraging comment! yay to all of that!! I love your heart! I love Craig Groeshcel’s book too! so solid! And Asheritah is my dear friend and that is a great podcast rec.! Keep up the great work in parenting and marriage. You will be blessed! (And thank you so much for the book review! truly!!!) xoxo

    2. Hey Melissa! I love this comment so much and I’m happy to tell you your name was drawn to WIN the Anthropologie gift card! hooray! Hope you find something fun for spring!
      You should get the card in an email soon! xo Monica

  24. Khaliann Holmes says:

    I love your parenting advice and it’s neat to hear how you’ll be changing your podcast to be for girl moms too. Something I’m learning right now in this season is patience and gentleness with my kids. And how for one of my kids in particular, that needs to come before giving instruction. Something I’m really wanting to learn to do well is having a devotional time together as a family. My husband and I have tried, and it just doesn’t go well. I know we need to think outside the box. Anyway thank you for your wisdom, Monica! Blessings from Texas!

  25. Angie Price says:

    Love coffee dates! God has been teaching me that He is in control and He is capable of handling it all. Trusting Him would be easy if I knew the outcome was what I wanted. The unknown is what makes me trust Him.

  26. Meredith Palicte says:

    I’m so excited to read your book! Loved this update. For book recommendations, if you’re looking for a good story have you read The Great Alone by Kristina Hannah? I’m reading it now and it’s so good.
    As for family updates- we had our third son 4 months ago and I’m so thankful for Gods provision and grace in parenting three little dudes. Thankful to have your page and podcast as a resource!

    1. Meredith! Congrats on Boy #3!! and thank you for the book rec. (haven’t read that one! — will check it out!) Thanks for taking the time to comment! ❤️

  27. God has been teaching me to have more of a servant minded heart lately. In this culture of “self” I often forget what a servant Jesus was.
    I left an Amazon book review for raising amazing, LOVE the book!

    1. Thank you soooo much, and I love what God is teaching you. (I hope it spreads b/c yes, we all need that!) 🙂 xo

  28. Kimber mueller says:

    A book recommendation would be Castles Burning by Magda Denes.

    I read it years ago and was just really good. It was about a Jewish girl living through WW2. She wrote the book.

    1. Thank you Kimber– sounds like a great book!! blessings xo

  29. The Lord has been teaching me to be still in his presence. Pause before I speak to my kids. Respond vs react. Also, to listen to the nudges from the Holy Spirit.

  30. We just got back from an epic 7mo vanlife road trip as a family and are trying to resettle back in our little beach town for an unknown time frame! As a Type A control freak, God has worked so much in me the last year or two on just resting in Him, and releasing the need “to know” or “to plan” and definitely trying “to control” allllll the things. I’m still trying to learn to relax and fully submit, but it sure has been so freeing to relinquish His job back to Him! Hahaha so we will see what is next for our family/ministry because we still haven’t figured that part out yet!

    Looking forward to reading your next book

    1. Wow Amanda, what a great trip that must have been. Keep pressing on to trust God, proud of your heart!! xo

  31. 1. God/growth- listening to your podcast two or three weeks ago, your guest referenced the meal with five fish and two loaves of bread. One disciple said this isn’t possible, the other said let’s try. I’ve been trying hard to show more of the latter in work, as there have been more difficult days than easy ones.
    2. Book club- Cover Story, Diamond Eye, Demon Copperhead
    3. New news- brag about my kids, first kiddo is finishing up Sophomore/Youngster year at the Naval Academy and foing to the Powerlifting Nationals next month; sending my second kid off to college in the Fall, excited with his new opportunity at work; and my third (like you, six years apart) loves all sports but his true love is baseball. My husband continues to be my rock through my most difficult days at work.

    1. LOVE all of this Colleen! Thanks for having coffee with me and catching me up. 🙂 You have much to be proud of/thankful for. I’ll be checking out those books for sure! xoxo (and I’m always blessed with something from the podcast sticks!! yay. I loved that too!)

  32. My younger son (5) is beginning to race this season just like his older brother (10). It has been so fun and filling for my momma heart to watch him find the same joy in it as his big brother and to watch both of my boys build such a special bond with each other and with their father!

  33. Lindsey Baade says:

    God has been working on repairing my heart. Working on forgiveness. It’s been painful but desperately needed.
    For book club- 🤔 It may not be new but Karen Kingsbury A Distant Shore.
    Loving Raising amazing! Left my review.

    1. oh bless you Lindsey. Thank you for book rec. — will definitely check that out! And thank you so much for the review!! xo

  34. Thank you for the sweet encouragement and book recommendations. I have a quick prayer request. My husband and I are getting away for a week! We’ve never even left our boys for a night. Please pray for our anxious hearts and for my mom who will be staying with the boys. I pray that the boys get along with one another better than ever 😉 and that no one gets hurt or has an allergic reaction.

    1. Stopping to pray now! And YOU guys go have a blast! This is a gift to your boys and each other. So good for all of you! xo

  35. God has been growing my trust in Him beyond the natural- a couple deaths back to back- one grandfather (who was amazing-didn’t give his life to Jesus until he was older but as he was dying he still showed surrender. The Lord spoke to his heart “you’re trying to control how/when you die.”- he was fighting cancer- tired and in pain and way to be with the Lord. Yet he told the Lord he was sorry and that He (God) was still in control and that he (grandpa) was willing to wait and trust- up to the last breath.

    1. Wow, what a story. That encourages me for others in my life. ❤️ Sending love your way!!

  36. Stacy Nelson says:

    Hi, I love reading your blogs! I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November and only have one more chemo to go! Hoping to use this season to inspire and comfort others through their journey.
    Stacy Nelson


  37. Becky Vickrey says:

    God is showing me how important it is for me to rest. It is so hard for me to do that. I teach kindergarten, I work at my church (kid min & admin), and raise 3 boys. It is a lot! But rest helps me to be able to do all of that. And keeping God at the center has to stay #1.

    1. Love (and need!) all of that, Becky. 🙂 Thank you!

  38. Love this so much and all you share!! If you’re looking for fiction and haven’t read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers yet it’s my favorite book of all time!

    1. Thank you Alexis! That is one of the few fiction books I HAVE read and it will always be a favorite! 😉 Big hugs-