A Big Lesson from “My Girl”

Many of you with children likely have little “quirky” things you do with your children. They may have started as a joke or something you did once, and it became normal for you to do. For EmmaLee-Tyler and me, one of those things is a phrase I say to her. When she says or does something really funny (that usually makes her mom roll her eyes) I typically follow it up by saying “My Girl!” is a silly voice! She likes it when I do it! After I say that, EmmaLee-Tyler typically laughs at me and we all have a fun laugh. Today, she said four words that reminded me of a big lesson I needed to remember!

We were sitting around the table eating lunch together when MaeLee asked EmmaLee-Tyler if she wanted real chickens in our yard. MaeLee has been trying to get me to get us chickens for years now (that’s another story for another day)! In the midst of the conversation about chickens, MaeLee asked EmmaLee-Tyler if she would help get chicken eggs if we had chickens. EmmaLee-Tyler responded, “No! I just want to eat the chickens!” Cue MaeLee’s chuckle and eye roll at our funny girl, and then it happened. EmmaLee-Tyler looked at me and said, “Daddy, say ‘my girl.'” In that moment it struck me that she was looking for validation. Validation that she was funny, validation that she was loved, validation that she was indeed “my girl.” I resolved in that moment I would always strive to remind her of two things!

First, I resolved to make sure she always knew she was “my girl” no matter what. My love for her is unconditional, and she needs to know that. She needs to know that no matter what happens in this life, no matter what mistakes she makes, no matter if she ever makes another funny joke, that she is and will always be “my girl.” There may be times I don’t say it, or times she doesn’t want me to say it (embarrassing parents, am i right?), but she needs to know that her being “my girl” isn’t based on anything she does or doesn’t do, but it simply based on the fact that I love her!

Second, I resolved to make sure that she knows her validation doesn’t come from me (or any boy for that matter), but from her Heavenly Father. There will be days when she is older when peer pressure will creep in, and in those moments I want her to remember that her worth isn’t wrapped up in another person’s approval, but His approval. As her dad, I have to lead the charge to remind her of her true value, which is found in Him.

Neither of these things are “new truths” for me. In fact, they are both things about which we seek to be extremely intentional. But today was a fresh reminder that even at the age of three and a half our children are seeking approval and validation. Make sure you remind your children today that your love for them is unconditional, but more importantly remind them that God’s love for them is unconditional and that rooting their identity in Him is the only way for a secure future.

Counting all things loss,

Tim

#WeTheVillage T-Shirt Fundraiser

#WeTheVillage

What does this mean? We have been saying since before we even started the adoption process that it would take a village, our village, to get our next baby home. It is going to take a lot of prayer, support, encouragement, and money to make this happen for us. We know it won’t be easy and it is a process BUT with your help it WILL happen!

So, #WeTheVillage was born. We included it on our next fundraiser, which is our t-shirts! By you buying this shirt, you are helping us raise money to bring home Baby Mathis #3, saying that you are a part of our village, and bringing awareness to adoption by wearing this shirt wherever you go.

The back of the shirt has an outline of the United States because our little baby will come from somewhere within the lines of this map. And within the map we have a heart where Alabama would be to represent us and our family and the Bible verses Ephesians 1:4-6, which says: “In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.”

As far as this super cool t-shirt goes, we tried our best to make it as gender neutral as possible while also making it stand out and look awesome! This shirt is available in youth sizes through adult sizes. The cost is $20 and if you’re not local to us then $2 will be added for shipping purposes. Please let me or Tim know if you want one, how many, and what sizes you will need! Orders will be taken until February 14th!

We desire for everyone to be involved in our adoption in whatever way that may be-praying for us, the birth mother, and our new little one, sending words of encouragement our way, helping us connect with other adoptive families, and taking part in our fundraisers. And as always, please feel free to ask questions you may have about our adoption and we will be happy to answer!

A Little Q & A

I wanted to answer a few questions that other have been asking us since announcing that we are adopting. And please feel free to ask any and all questions because we would love to answer them!

Also, we would love to thank everyone that has pledged money per mile for our first fundraiser! Every single cent given helps to bring the next Mathis baby home to us!

So… let’s get started!

Are we planning to adopt domestically or internationally? This adoption will be a domestic adoption. And if you don’t know what that means, that’s totally okay! That means that our baby will come from somewhere in the U.S.!

How much will our adoption cost? We are looking at a total of $38,000 to $43,000 plus our application fee and traveling expenses of getting our new and sweet little one. This price covers agency fees, legal fees, care for the birth mother, and hospital costs.

Will we be specific in any area of what baby we want to adopt? We are planning on being gender specific in adding another precious boy to our tribe, but we are open to all races.

What age will our sweet one be? We hope and desire to adopt a newborn. We would love to travel to the hospital and be there while he is born or at least shortly after.

Will be having any other fundraisers? Yes, and soon after Tim completes the Dopey Challenge/ Dopey For Dough Fundraiser! We plan to have t-shirts for sale, a silent auction/dinner, a 5k/fun run, and more!

I think those are the main questions we have had so far, but like I mentioned earlier here..please do not hesitate to ask us any questions. You guys are our village and this will only happen with your love, prayers, and support!

And if you are wanting to help with our first fundraiser, Dopey For Dough, you can go to this link and fill out the form there: bit.ly/dopey4dough.

 

Dwelling in Him,

Tim, MaeLee, Cam, & EmmaLee-Tyler

We’re Adopting!!

Before MaeLee and I ever met, the Lord placed a burden in both of our hearts for the ministry of adoption. It’s such a clear picture of the Gospel. In Ephesians 1:3-6 Paul talks about the adoption we have received from God. We were spiritual orphans, unable to fend for ourselves, and God intervened by doing what we couldn’t; Taking away our sin. When we adopt, we are able to show others that love God showed us when he sent his son Jesus. For whatever reason we both sensed that God was calling us to adopting in our future.

So it didn’t take long when we began courting to get around to the question of children, and more specifically, adoption. One of the ways we were confident God was leading us towards marrying one another was because of this common bond. All that to say adoption has been on our radar for a long time. We have watched and supported friends go through that process and have been waiting for the right time to embark on that journey ourselves. Through many conversations and prayers we are confident this is our time to start the process of adopting. We plan to adopt through Faithful Adoption Consultants (FAC). We have heard great testimony from those who have used their services. You can see there website [https://www.faithfuladoptionconsultants.com/]. Needless to say this is going to be a long road filled with twists and turns and we will need our strong support system of family and friends to help us along the way. One of the biggest helps we will need along the way is financial support. The adoption process is an expensive one and there is no way we can do it alone. Those of you who help us along this journey will truly be a part of our family forever!

First Support Opportunity 

As you may know I have been training for several months now for something called the Dopey Challenge. The Dopey Challenge consist of four races over the course of four days (January 4-7) totaling 48.6 miles (that’s a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and full marathon). We have decided to make this our first fundraiser for our adoption. We are asking people to pledge money per mile I complete in these runs (i.e. $1 per mile would be a total donation of $48.60, assuming I finish each race). If you would like to pledge money per mile you can fill out this google form http://bit.ly/dopey4dough or private message MaeLee or me. Also, feel free to contact either of us if you have any questions!

We’re looking forward to you coming along this journey with us!

Counting all things loss,

Timothy, MaeLee, Cam, and EmmaLee-Tyler

EmmaLee-Tyler’s Birth Story

After the majority of my morning sickness subsided in the last trimester, the only complaint I had was not being able to sleep due to restless legs and just not being comfortable. Most nights I would only get about 3 hours of sleep at the max. My blood pressure was being managed pretty well with medicine. Then when I hit 36 weeks I started feeling bad just generally and my blood pressure was still high (really high) with my normal amount of medicine. I let my wonderful OB know and we ran some tests and then by the end of the week I was in the hospital being induced and anticipating the arrival of EmmaLee-Tyler.
We arrived to the hospital around 10:00 PM on Sunday, March 6th at 37 weeks 2 days to start the induction process. But before we left the house I had the honor of rocking my 19 month old son to sleep for the last time as an only child at home. It was truly a bittersweet moment and as I rocked him I was fighting back tears because as excited as I was for our family to become 4 people, I was nervous to how Cam would react to this big change in his life, how he would be spending the night away from us for the first time, and how I would handle taking care of 2 children. So, we get settled into our room and the nurses enter in all of my information and give me the meds to help start the laboring process and a mild sedative to help me rest. The plan was to give me meds every 3 hours and by the second dose I started having contractions, but thankfully the sedative did it’s job and allowed me to sleep more than I had been doing at home..even with multiple interruptions of sleep from the nurses. The third dose of meds really had me contracting at the time.
After I received the third dose they started my IV of pitocin to really make me contract and set on my labor of EmmaLee-Tyler. A couple of hours later my lovely and wonderful doctor came by and checked on me and broke my water. (When I had my water broke with Cam I didn’t feel anything or any sensations of the water because I already had my epidural so this was an interesting feeling.)
My pitocin was most definitely working and I contracted ALL DAY LONG! Another couple of hours after having my water broke I asked for my epidural. My epidural this time around compared to Cam’s was a completely different story. It was administered differently and I was able to feel and move my legs this time. I was re-dosed several times because of this. The medicine would work for about a good 15-30 minutes and then I would start feeling the contractions hardcore again. (It was weird and I don’t know what exactly happened like if I just metabolized it fast or something was wrong with how it was placed or what?)
I was progressing in my labor just a whole lot slower than anticipated by everyone, especially me. I went in with the goal of having her my lunch time. Boy was I wrong!!
My awesome nurse tried moving me in different positions to speed things along but to no avail. Miss EmmaLee-Tyler was quite comfortable where she was! Also, she had her head turned to the side so they tried turning her head several times, but she was a little stubborn like her big brother was and would turn it right back where she wanted it to be!
Speaking of Cam, he was in and out of the room throughout the day and each time he came in he asked, “Where’s baby?” Poor baby had been told several times that his sister was coming that day and he kept expecting to see her! He was champ and only had one meltdown when he had to leave that night to go home to eat, take a bath, and go to bed. It was really sad for this Mommy’s heart.
I stalled for a while around 8-9 cm dilated and we tried pushing a couple of times to see if I could get to where I needed to be to deliver. When it was 11:00 PM that day it looked like I wasn’t going to be having on her the 7th liked we thought she would be. (This was a running joke with us because of how long my labor was Cam and went into the next day, so every time someone told us that Em would be born on the 7th, Tim was quick to say to them to not guarantee us that because of our previous experience. Haha!!)
It was around 11:30 or after when I started feeling a lot of pressure and felt like I needed to start pushing. Tim went out to get the nurses and doctor to let them know what I was feeling. Sure enough it was •finally• time to get the show on the road. Like I mentioned earlier about my epidural not exactly working, it definitely wasn’t working at this point. Let’s just say that I felt everything and that’s the most pain I’ve ever had and want to ever experience in my life. I pushed for about 10-15 minutes. (I’m not exactly sure how long because everything was a blur.) It was all a blur of emotions, tears, pain, and joy!
At 11:58 PM EmmaLee-Tyler Jean Mathis made her grand appearance weighing 6 lb 10 oz and was 19.5 inches long! She was immediately placed on my chest and covered with blankets. What a wonderful and long-awaited moment to have with our baby girl! Tim was so happy and full of joy of meeting his daughter for the first time as tears streamed down his face.
Sidenote: Can I just say how thankful I am to have had my friend, Talia, who is a wonderful doctor deliver our baby girl?! We were so impressed with the nursing staff and how wonderful they were to me and EmmaLee-Tyler during our stay there.
I was able to do skin-to-skin with Em for about a hour before they had to take her to the nursery to check out her lungs and warm her up. We didn’t exactly know what was wrong with her until a few hours later when the pediatrician had to come and check on her and then explain everything.
Em had fluid in her lungs and wasn’t able to hold her body temperature where it needed to be. They said her lungs just needed some more time to mature and they needed to make sure she didn’t have pneumonia. She was placed under the oxy hood for a couple of days and to us the worst part of it all was that she wouldn’t get to eat anything during that time.
On Wednesday morning we were able to hold her for the first time since she was born that Monday night. It did our hearts so good to be able to wrap our arms around her little body. She started making improvements as soon as we were able to hold her. Her oxygen sats came up and stayed where they needed to be for the most part after that. That night I was able to nurse her!
Thursday was a day of all around improvement and she was moved out of the nursery to the room they were allowing me to stay in while she was a patient. Cam was able to meet his little sister for the first time that morning and able to hug and kiss her! It was so sweet to watch them interact. And on Friday morning we were finally able to come home as a family of four!! We were all so happy to get to do that and just settle into a routine and I was glad to be back in my own bed!
We want to thank everyone again for all of your prayers you prayed during that week for us and our girl! They were much felt by us and appreciated, too!

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Cam- {10 Months}

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Of course I’m late on posting my blog again for you folks. But what else can you expect from a busy, on-the-go 10 month old?! And boy, am I a busy boy!!

I am on the move and have to busy moving and going somewhere!! I also have {7} teeth now!! I am going to town on some food these days! I am talking A LOT these past few weeks. And when I talk, I talk with my hands for the most part. I guess I picked it up from Daddy and Mommy and how they talk with their hands when they are not holding me.

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This month I learned a lot about softball because we spent 2 days cheering on the girls at the AHSSA championship games! I cheered and clapped and cheered and clapped and in between all of that I took naps even with the noisy fans going on and on! Mom and Dad said I was MVP again. I’m looking forward to being the girls ball boy next year. 🙂

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Mother’s Day also happened this month and Dad and I got Mommy some chacos she was wanting and some pretty sweet cards. I picked my card out for Mommy and I kinda got it for me too because it has Mickey Mouse on it and he is my favorite these days. I love watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!

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Some of my favorite foods this month are: strawberries, watermelon, blueberries, spaghetti, and chicken. Things I enjoy doing: reading books. climbing stairs, crawling, standing, playing with the youth group {especially the girls}, watching sports live or on TV, and still watching Toy Story 3.

Well, only a little longer until I turn {1} YEAR OLD! Do not tell Mommy though because she’s liable to break into tears about that subject. 😉

Grace & Peace- Cam

{Cam-5 Months}

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I am 5 whole months old! Mom and Dad are starting to wig out a bit because that means I am almost 1/2 year old. Crazy people. Crazy stuff.

My fifth month did not disappoint like the rest of my months in this ole’ world. It was quite eventful as it kicked off 5 days worth of traveling for Thanksgiving week. I made the parents question all kinds of things those 5 days..like ever getting in the car again or having another child. (Ha!) I mentioned in my last post that I truly hate the car seat. And it’s true that I do and I REALLY let them know my feelings on that blasted thing called the car seat. I screamed and screamed and cried and cried most of all of rides in the car that week. What can I say, I like to be home.

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Happy Turkey Day!
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I have to keep my eye on this guy.

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I sure do love my cousin Alexis. And MiMi too!

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Me and Huckabee are tight.

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Me and my two namesakes. They are something else.

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I got a lesson on the piano from Pap.

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Gram likes to sing to me.

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When the riding got bad, I decided to do some driving. (Not really.)

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Five generations strong of the Little’s. (Dad, MiMi, MamMaw, Me, and PawPaw)

I was happy to see family that week, but I was a completely different (and normal again) baby once we arrived back home. But because my crazy parents did all that traveling it really messed up the schedule Mom had me on and I decided to stop sleeping through the night. (Muahahaha!…My evil plan of revenge on them!) I also decided that every time they “thought” it was nap time to throw a grand fit. (Once again..muahahaha!) The parents loved it..not! Getting up one to three times a night for a few weeks was great. I had lots of play time in the bed.

Speaking of beds…my parents decided to not let me sleep in my beloved swing anymore after they caught my legs dangling off the end of it in the middle of the night. Needless to say, this definitely didn’t help my sleeping arrangements. (I also was going through the 4 month sleep regression.) Lots of changes this month. Mom and Dad decided to lay the law down on sleeping on my back/side by placing me in the pack-n-play, but that typically only last a few hours at the most and then I sneak into bed with them because they love their sleep so much and cuddling with me. Word on the street is though that Dad is going to REALLY lay the law down on that and put me back to sleep in the pack-n-play every time I wake up this month. (We shall see how that goes.)

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Me and my BFF, Issac, having some play time. He’s a lot of fun

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I get around pretty good in this thing until I get stuck in a corner.

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Mom thinks I am just the cutest child ever. (And it’s true!)

I got my first cold this month and shared it with Mom. How thoughtful of me, right? I guess I inherited her sinus issues. I have really grown to hate that darn suction bulb. When I see it coming my way, I roll away from her as fast as I can. By the way, I am doing a LOT of rolling over these days. You won’t find me in the same place if you leave the room for 30 seconds. I am learning to pick my legs up and scoot around on my belly. Lifting up this belly of mine is driving kinda hard to do, but when you weigh 18.10 lbs you would find it hard to do too.

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The parents’ friend Ashley took some nice pictures of me for the Christmas card.

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Me and Uncle Ethan..he thinks it’s fun to put his hat on me and I don’t mind.

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Me and my stud of a dad (Mom dresses us nicely)

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I make some pretty cute faces these days.

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Our first Jasper Christmas parade (C’mon Dad..even I can look at the camera!)

I have really grown this month. I went from 17.2 to 18.10 and I’m over 27 inches now. My legs are proving to look like Mom’s..long. I am in size 3 diapers now or medium in cloth diapers. And I am in mostly 9 months clothes now. I am a growing boy for sure.

Things I love at the moment: pat-a-cake, Toy Story, my walker, Mom doing crazy dances, playing and sometimes pulling on Dad’s beard, sweet potatoes, biting shoulders, and of course bath time.

Things I don’t like so much: car seat (given), the evil suction bulb, sour peas (Mom calls them sweet peas, but there’s nothing sweet about them), avocado, and being left alone in the room.

See you when I hit the 1/2 year mark, Lord willing.

 

Grace and Peace- Cam

Life is but a blur…

Since Christmas our weekends have been booked to the max and last weekend was our first weekend at home since we took our anniversary trip to Black. Needless to say it was beyond needed and relaxing for us both.

The month of January Tim was either at Lakeview, a conference, or a class all but 2 days! It was definitely a crazy month for the Mathii, and February did not disappoint us either in that aspect. He is really looking forward to getting into his classes and learning more about systematic theology and Greek. Tim is actually in class right now and was yesterday, too.

My (MaeLee) school schedule has been OUT. OF. CONTROL. It really has been super crazy and stressful. Right now I am a part of 5 different group projects and I have taken 3 midterms with two more to go. I am placed at 3 different schools, which I am at 4 times per week outside of 17 hours of class I am taking. The highlight of this semester has most definitely been being in the schools so much! I am loving my times with different students and learning how to be the best teacher I can be. The teachers that I get the opportunity to work with are outstanding and there are many characteristics of theirs that I hope to take on and possess.

What I am most thankful for this semester is that I am in only education classes that relate to what I am majoring in and that is SUCH a blessing. It is a blessing because I am finally focusing everything on my major, Elementary Education, and because of that I am doing really well in all of my classes, which is GREAT! I am really hoping and striving for all As this semester and as of right now that is what I have in all of my classes..hoping it stays that way too!

Places we have been recently: Abbeville (For D-NOW), Monroeville, Mobile (with my family to take Tim to Mardi Gras for the first time), Panama City Beach (for marriage retreat), and Eufaula (for Tim’s Paw-Paw’s surprise birthday party).

Here are a couple of pictures to recap a couple of our trips:

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543515_4792271757286_1849371449_nThis is at Mardi Gras in Mobile with Tim and my Daddy.

This picture is just for you all to see the cutest 3 year olds that there ever was. 🙂

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New Year, New Schedules

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and new year with your family and friends. We enjoyed our time together with our families over the the holiday season. We went to Black, AL, where Tim’s dad’s side of the family meets every summer for family reunions, for a few days of being alone together. From there we went to Eufaula, AL to spend time with Tim’s mom’s side of the family for a few days. We had our Christmas celebration with them and got to spend some sweet time with our wonderful niece, Alexis. 🙂

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From Eufaula we went to spend Christmas Eve night in Goodway, AL. This was the first time I(MaeLee) have been home for Christmas in 3 years. Needless to say, my parents were thrilled to have me and Tim there for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We spent a few days there and got to spend the night and hang out with my Paw-Paw. You guys do not even know how much we love my Paw-Paw. He is always the highlight of our trips to see my family, especially since we lost my Gran-Gran last March. We also got to see some more of our favorite people, the Dunns and Butlers, while in Goodway, which means we got to see our other favorite little girl, Lenora! 🙂

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We came back to Auburn for a few days of rest before hitting the road again. We celebrated in the New Year with some more of our favorite people, the Taylors! It was a night full of games and laughter! We left New Year’s Day for Louisville, KY with the Wimberlys. Kaleb and Tim took a Greek review class for free while Lindsay and I slept in at the hotel and hung out around Louisville. We were able to meet with some of the Wimberlys’ friends and have dinner with one of Tim’s professors and his family. I was so excited to go see Louisville and SBTS, where Tim is a student. We (mainly just me) enjoyed the cold weather to the fullest. We were all really hoping for snow, but it had melted by the time we arrived. (Such a Debbie Downer!) Other than getting stuck in traffic for a couple of hours on the way there, a good time was had by all of us!

Since our return from Kentucky, we both hit the ground running with responsibilities for work and school. Tim has been at Lakeview every day since we go back with some type of responsibility. We have had Week of Prayer, David Platt, Harry Reeder, and many other things happening at Lakeview. This past weekend we were leaders for FUEL! Fuel is a weekend for the youth to grow deeper in their relationships with the Lord and have an overload of fellowship with each other. Tim had 8th grade boys and I had 9th grade girls. It was definitely a weekend of renewal and exhaustion! We are both so thankful for opportunities to work with youth and use our gifts for the Lord in that manner since we both have a desire to work with them after graduation.

I am placed at three different schools this semester for my education program and I am SO excited about it! Reading, math, and P.E. for me this semester and all of these subjects require me to come up with my own lesson plans. Making lesson plans for the first time is a rather frightening thought to me, but I am up for the challenge!

So, this is our little update on the Mathii. Hope you have a great rest of the week and weekend! Love you guys!