Donald Hebb, an early pioneer of neuroplasticity and neurophyschology said this, “Neurons that fire together, wire together.” This is not going to be a science lesson necessarily but I do want to validate some of the stuff I am going to say. These aren’t just “nice” ideas or interesting assumptions. Though new things are still being discovered...the bottom line stays the same.
Our thought life is so so powerful.
And you guys - we can literally change the wiring in our brain by our thoughts. If you look at a brain scan from someone who is positive it will look different than someone who complains all day/every day. So basically, what Donald Hebb said was, Neurons that fire together (or...our thoughts) wire together (structurally change the brain.).
There was a story I heard once about a shipwreck and I can never retell it the same way it was told to me but the lesson remains the same .
So once there was a shipwreck and the passengers had to board 2 different lifeboats. There were about 10 people aboard each of these lifeboats. There was food and water on each of them also. The captain or the presumed leader of one of the lifeboats calculated that it would take about 7-10 days of rowing to make it back to shore. Looking at the food, water, and the amount of physical exertion this was going to take... one captain told their passengers that there was such a small chance to get back to shore and that there is only enough food for them to survive for 6 days. (Which was probably a decent estimate) and sadly by the sixth day all of the passengers had died.
Meanwhile, on the other boat. The captain, or presumed leader on that boat looked at the food and saw that it would only last 6 days. However, he looked at his passengers of mothers, fathers, and children. He had the exact same thoughts the other captain did...that it wasn’t going to be enough to last. However, the captain took a different approach. He told the passengers not to worry...that the food would have to be rationed, of course, but that it was PLENTY for them to survive and that they could do this. What do you think happened to these people? You guys, All 10 passengers and the captain made it back to the shore alive. All 10.
That story I just told is fiction but has been told and spun off of real events in history. If you look up stories like the Shakleton Expedition that happened in the early 1900’s...where he basically got stranded with his crew in ridiculous weather conditions in their attempt to reach the south pole. Their boat ultimately sank but he ended up keeping all 22 of his passengers alive and brought them to safety. This case has been studied and a researcher said this -“What I realized from the case is that as a leader, you have to have an unshakable faith in your mission, yourself and your abilities,” “The hardest part of leadership is not just feeding your team with ideas and motivation, but feeding yourself. In the face of enormous obstacles, Shackleton found a way to do this.”
These stories always give me chills for some reason. It kind of reminds me of an old married couple that has been married for like 70 years...once one passes...usually it’s not long before the other follows suit. Or there are statistics that after someone retires...if they just stop working, stop living, and stop doing there is an accelerated death rate. Your body KNOWS if there is a will to live or not.
It also is impactful to me because the lives of the passengers were in the captains hands. the way he portrayed what was possible and what wasn’t, MATTERED. In this situation it meant literal life or death The passengers life was directly tied to that leader.
Proverbs 18:21 says this, “Life and Death are in the power of the tounge.”
You guys, our mind is that leader and we are the passenger. And ultimately we are the leader in our family and our children are those passengers. It starts with us. If our mind is weak and unchecked then how the heck are we gonna lead others well.
Quick side note: If you or your child suffers with depression or any other chemical imbalance in the brain - please don’t hear that it is your fault because you didn’t lead them well. Though, thought life can only help depression and anxiety and even some types of brain damage...you guys know there is more that’s going on there. You are safe here friends. You will never hear me say if you just think a little more positively, or pray a littler harder or had a little more faith then this wouldn’t be your struggle. Just no. But obviously you can still take what you can from this and run with it. For everything else, whatever you need to do that’s between you, your family, and your physician - I am in no way a doctor. I see you guys though. <3 The point is - is that weather you have anxiety/depression or you don’t...I think we all have let our thought life drift more than we would like to admit.
Ok so let’s bring it back. Now that we are clear on anytime I am talking about mindset - I’m talking about the things we are in control of.
There is a reason there is a verse in the bible in 2 Corinthians that tells us to take every thought captive. Why? Because it’s possible to not be in control of the thoughts that are in our own head! Have you ever started thinking about something and you’ve went down some weird path and then realize (what in the world am I thinking right now?)
I do this with my uber drivers. Anyone else? I have to tell you a story about a time my family went to Myrtle beach on vacation and our car broke down about 2 miles from our hotel. I had 3 little babies at the time...my oldest was 4 or 5. Well, we had been trying to figure out our car for a good 2 hours at this point and it was getting dark. Justin just said we should get an uber back to the hotel and he would continue to work on the car (check out was the next morning so we had to get it done) I was nervous because I would be alone with 3 babies in the car but Justin said he would watch the driver’s GPS the entire way (i guess you can do that??) Anyways, we got in the car and it was maybe a 4 minute car ride and guys I am telling you I had that drivers death planned out. I had every escape plan mapped out. I had thought about how I would take control of the car, get my babies out, what I would tell them to do and where to go. As we approached an entrance to a major highway - my heart started beating so fast. I was just praying to God that he wouldn’t hop on the highway and I would have to kill someone. He didn’t yall. He drove me straight to our hotel and me and my babies hopped out. You guys he had no idea that I had rehearsed his entire demise in my brain. When I was walking to the door I busted out laughing. I am not someone who suffers from really any kind of anxiety (that’s obvious to you i’m sure) but seriously. My mind just went. Y’all it went from chilling on vacation to murdering someone in 4 minutes. Send help.
Now that’s a stupid example. And honestly maybe even justified because we go into mama bear mode. But don’t you guys see this in other areas of life? You are annoyed with your spouse and all of a sudden you can go down a path of all the things hes ever done to annoy you or hurt you. We can spiral with our self-talk when we mess up or make a mistake. When in reality... when the first thought hits we should take it captive. Hear it for what it is and then stop that thought pattern and move forward. I heard on a podcast called, The purpose show, the host Allie Casazza explain it this way. You let the thought come up to the gate but you don’t let it in.
Let’s use a football analogy for mindset really quick because I love the movie the blind side and this is what I picture when I think of the importance of taking control of my thought life.
To set the stage here...this movie is a true story of the NFL player, Michael Ore. and spoiler alert He was a homeless teen that is taken in by a wealthy family. He is a big guy and the mom is a football fanatic so she starts to put him into football but he doesn’t quite catch on at first but he continues to be coached and she continues to support him in the sport.
So idk about halfway through the movie they show a pivotal football game. The team Michael is on has been struggling the entire game an’t keep their quarterback safe because their offensive line is not holding strong. Michael is just not blocking like he should and the other teams defense keeps getting through and either sacking the quarterback or making them lose yards. This is going on for the majority of the game. Until Michael Ore has a mindset shift. He realizes that blocking is a way for him to protect his family, his football family. Then another play play begins. Both teams get into formation and settled into their 3 point stance. Michael ore is staring at his opponent who has been trash talking all night and he closes his eyes and hears his moms voice say, ‘this team is your family Michael.’ The whisle blows and he blocks this guy, idk, 50, 60, 70 yards? It’s excessive. And the scene from the movie shows him blocking the entire time. The sound of the game fades out and it’s an emotional scene because he finally gets it… gets blocking in a big way. He understands the importance blocking is for his family, for his teamates.
So let’s bring this back to our mindset analogy. If our minds are the quarterback you guys, once that ball is snapped the opposing teams D line is coming for us fast and without mercy. If our offensive line, figuratively speaking, is weak then we are screwed. You guys Satan is the Dline and he’s trash talking us, he’s taunting us, and he’s coming for us. There is no time to learn on our feet when it’s game time. He is too fast, he has too much experience and he is is a master manipulator.
BUT If if we can train our offensive line to push back then it gives the QB, or us here, enough time to freaking think about what thought just popped up into our head and put it in the place it belongs. But this takes practice. We gotta build up our Oline. Because satan is not backing down and will sac us in a hot second if we don’t get our act together because he’s coming. The second that whistle blows it’s fair game. But the question is are we going to get sacked or block him to the parking lot where he belongs. I vote for the second option.
For many of us...we feel like this defeated team for the majority of our thought life. We’ve been unsuccessful, we’ve been knocked down, we’ve lost to temptation time and time again and just can’t seem to get our footing long enough before the next blow comes. But the cool thing is, is just like in this game - once we get it...once we know how to armor up then we can make a change in one second, in one minute, in one play. We can dig deep right then, close our eyes, remember who we are in Christ and then have the tools to take every thought captive and put them in their rightful place.
So then - that’s great Steph but how do we gear up or armor up and strengthen our will power when it comes to our thoughts?
Well, the first and easiest one is affirmations. We will talk about these during this episode but will go so much beyond these in future mindset episodes. But these are so simple and can be such a quick win if you are just starting out - these also are so impactful for our children. If you have subscribed to Legacy through motherhood my very first freebie I give out is an affirmation cheat sheet for you and your kids. I give a quick explanation of how to do it and I give you some of my exact affirmations to start. Then I give affirmations for younger and older kids as well. It’s so very simple and it’s something me and my family has personally used.
So let’s talk affirmations really quick because. Ok, we’ve all heard of them, maybe you think they are super odd to do, maybe you kinda get the point but not really, Idk. Idk where you are but just hear me out. Remember when I said at the beginning “neurons that fire together wire together?” meaning what we think about actually physically changes the wiring in our brain? Okay - so how many of you guys are positive most of the time. Not just on the outside … I mean on the inside. To yourself when you look in the mirror, look at your bank account, when you mess up, or even when you get a compliment? I’ve only just recently been able to take a compliment without shrugging it off or feeling the need ot disprove it. You look cute today - thanks it’s because I showered. But Honestly, not many of us are super positive naturally. We just default to our flaws or hang on to something negative someone else has said about us. So affirmations have a place here. To speak truth over yourself. They are probably things you would think or say to others but for some reason you don’t say/think those things yourself.
So to get technical Affirmations are statements said with confidence about a perceived truth. They have the ability to program your mind to believe the concept you just said out loud because our mind doesn’t really know the difference between what is real and what isn’t. You are more or less telling your brain who you are...and then working to make that statement a reality. When we change our thought patterns to make us believe we are a specific type of person we tend to act and show up like that type of person. Our word choice matters.
So let me read you a couple of mine.
-I always reach my goals because I stick to my action plan.
-I am fully resourced to do everything God has called me to do.
-I expect a lot from my body everyday so I affirm its right to expect healthy fuel from me.
-I am a faithful and loving wife and a godly parent - my family is blessed.
You guys These are not always true of me. I am kind of an impulsive person. I have a strong start with most things. I bolt out of the dag on gate like a racehorse when I get excited about something. However, my finishing game isn’t super strong. But I am at a point in life where I am less interested in the things I can start and more interested in what I can finish. My word for this year is sustainability and the quote, “long-term consistency beats short term intensity.” So this affirmation was made to tell myself that I am a finisher. Because you guys - i can be. I can be a finisher. I know that.
I don’t always feel resourced to do everything God has called me to do. If you follow me on instagram then you saw, mainly on my stories, about when we fostered 3 extra kiddos October and November of 2019. When we got licensed We were only planning on taking 1 little girl 2 and under for a lot of reasons. Our agency that we foster through has about a 80% foster to adopt rate...I live right in the middle of 3 of the top 5 cities for OD’s in the US. So you can imagine how many children are coming into care and if we are just calling it how it is...people aren’t getting off of heroin. Anyways, since there is a high likelyhood of adoption (which btw we are for reunification whenever that is safe and possible. ) However, if it is not save or viable for a child to go home then we are open to adotpion. We felt like if we adopted a little boy then he would have 4 blonde haired brothers that all look alike and all look like their dad. But a little girl - regardless of how she looked - would be her own little self within our family. You can agree or not on that decision but that’s where we landed after the whole application process.
Anyways, back in October we got a call for a 3 yo boy. It wasn’t a girl but that’s okay we said yes anyways. Then we got a call back saying he had a 3 week old little brother and the caseworker asked if we would take him also. I just kind of laughed because I’m already a full blown boy mom (and I love it) and joke that if we had more bio kids they would probably be boys because I’m just meant to be a boy mom. Anyways, that felt like a stretch but we said yes again. THEN 20 minutes later the caseworker called back and said they were driving around with their 2yo little sister and didn’t have a home for her and asked if we would consider taking her. I mean...my heart dropped. Like what do you do in that situation. But we just decided that we could figure it out and I just told them to bring her on over and that we would make room. Ultimately, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I won’t go into all the ups and downs but it was a lot - but also...God did resource me with all I needed. We had found a Nissan NV about 3 weeks prior to that call (it’s a 12 seater van). We had people just surround us for those 2 months and bring food and clean my house and just check in non stop. It made me realize that I can’t do it all…...but when I am called to be in over my head - God comes through with a village that honestly - I didn’t realize was that deep. Had they not come through - you guys we would have drown. Did I mention the ages of all 7? A 3 week old, 1yo, 2, 3, 3, 4, 7. Yeah crazy. They are back home now and we miss them but are happy for them. If you want to see that journey and their sweet faces (kinda) head over to my instagram. It’s in the spotlight stories in my profile.
So you can see that you build affirmations around what you are finding hard to believe about yourself but that you know is true or can be true about yourself.
Reminder: Affirmations without action is just a delusion.
You can’t just sit and say, “I make healthy choices.” and sit on the couch, eating cookies, and binge watching netflix. I mean you can….but that makes you delusional. If you say, “I make healthy choices and you genuinly are trying each and every day and then one night you sit and eat cookies and binge on netflix...then fine. You arent delusional - you are human. Side note, at the time that I am writing this - it’s the day after the foster kiddos left and last night my husband and I were sitting on the couch and, no joke, I had the gallon of chocolate milk sitting next to me and I was eating a giant blueberry muffin as we watched The Rookie. Justin just looked over, laughed, and said, “You need to get your act together.” I just said “Don’t judge” and kept on eating my muffin and drinking my chocolate milk. And its okay! If thats your every night...then that may not be okay - but it’s okay. Okay?
So let’s pivot and talk about affirmations for your kiddos. This is something I’m passionate about and have been doing with all my kids almost every day for a couple years now.
My kids are 7, 5, 3, and 1. I do these for the older 3. They are very simple and follow the fruits of the spirit. Their affirmations are things like, I am loved, I am kind, I am patient, I have self control, etc. - For my older 2 we have added more complex ones like, I can do hard things and Mistakes make me grow.
As moms or parents in general - we do things and hope that they stick or are making some kind of impact. I do these every day almost yet I’m still dealing with kids who aren’t patient, who lack self-control and often aren’t kind to one another. However, I want to tell you 2 stories about my children that brought me to tears almost instantly. It also will show you 2 different ways to use affirmations.
The first was with my oldest, Noah. He was reading a book and came across a big word. I can’t remember exactly but it was something like "Amphibian" or something. Naturally, I jumped in as soon as he got to that word and said, "Oh buddy - that's a hard word." and right as I was about to read it to him he said, "That's okay mom, I can do hard things." He sounded it out (with my prompt that the 'ph' sounds like an 'f') and he read it correctly! My heart melted. You know when you think they aren't really soaking something up - but then they prove to you that it's actually making an impact? Proof is in the pudding you guys.
The second story I want to tell you is with my son Graham. He is my 3 yo right when he turned 3 he was giving me a run for my money. My older 2 were easy (air quotes happening there) All of a sudden I had a kid who defied every ask. It wouldn’t matter if I asked him to go get a popcicle from the freezer - it was going to be a power battle. Needless to say if a popcicle set this off - you can imagine when I asked him to clean up after himself. It turned into a screaming match that ultimately ended him in his room and he still hadn’t picked up anything I asked of him. He would cry, I would have him come back out and ask him to put the shoes in his room again...and AGAIN he wouldn’t do it. He would shove it an inch with his foot as he scooted….you know what I’m talking about. I was at a loss. There ended up being more to this and I will get into it more in a following health episode BUT I was talking to a friend, venting and she had made a suggestion. She had said, what if you say somethign positive like, “I need a really smart boy to put their shoes away.” Or “I need a good listener to put that toy in a bin.” I was intrigued by that idea because it’s affirmations - only in a different way. So I started right after that conversation. YOU GUYS. He did it immediately. I just said, “Hey Graham I need someone super smart to put that toy away.” He lit up with the biggest smile and shook his head yes and then ran and put it in the room. Yall my friend was on to something! So then I continued, “I need someone suuuuuuuper fast to put those toys in the bin. He hopped right up and did it - so excited to show me how fast he was! Also, fun fact if you follow me on Instagram you know our boys are all blue-eyed and blondes. Except my Graham...he has green eyes. So we will say, “Hmmm...I need someone with green eyes to come and put the blankets back in the bin.” and it excites him so much because he knows hes the only one with green eyes...therefore the only one that can help.
So there are 2 different ways you can use affirmations. If you haven’t subscribed to my email list go on over to www.simsarrows.com and sign up. To grab that guide - Its a great encouragement and an easy transition into affirmations.
Another way to use affirmations, and the last one I will talk about in this episode is by using specific words to answer others or yourself. For example, if you have smoked for 20 years and you are trying to quit smoking and someone hands you a cigarette you could turn it down in one of two ways. You could say, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit smoking.” Or you could say, “No thanks. I’m not a smoker.” Now which one do you think is more powerful? When you say, “No thanks - I’m trying to quit smoking you are telling yourself that you are a smoker...but are trying to quit.” When your response is, “No thanks I am not a smoker” You are telling yourself who you are...even if every fiber in your being wants that cigarrete. It’s just different and it makes a difference.
To wrap this episode up I want to remind you the importance of affirmations for our kids. Think about us. God tells us who we are. He tells us that
We are called (2 tim 1:9),
We are the apple of our faithers eye (psalm 17:8)
We are chosen,(1 thess 1:4,
We are Forgiven (Eph 1:7),
We are being changed in his image (2 cor. 3:18),
We are a sweet fragrance to God (2 cor 2:15)
We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14),
We are above and not beneath (Deut. 28:13)
You have been set free (john 8:31)
We are victorious (revalations 12:11)
But you guys...we forget. We forget who we are. That’s why we stay in the word, that’s why we stay connected to our loving Father. He reminds us when we forget who we truly are. He knows that we are all those things just like we know our children are all of those things (kind, patient, loved, self-controlled, etc.) But there is a war for their mind and their hearts out there mamas. We feel it in our hearts and minds every day. Our children are not exempt from that just because they are children. Especially in todays culture. I’m going to not get on a soap box right now but I hope you hear me that their minds and hearts and our minds and our hearts are on a battlefield. If we aren’t intentional with telling them WHO THEY TRULY are every day, you guys idk. Idk how strong their little minds are. This culture we live in is a beast. But I truly believe with all my heart that our children were made for this exact generation. This exact culture. So don’t doubt them. Don’t freak out about raising kids in this culture. We just need to raise up our children to be strong and prepared to change this world for good. They have what it takes but we are their coach. A coach does not sit back and hope their team has a winning mindset. They coach them. They teach them how to think and how to play the game. They practice almost every day to make sure they are prepared.
My oldest son, Noah, plays a lot of sports and is pretty athletic But I remember last year he was in baseball and Justin and I just hadn’t really made the time to practice throwing or getting ground balls or throwing him balls so he could practice hitting. Well, the first game of the season came and it was a mess. I’m pretty sure he struck out the entire game, couldn’t really catch/throw and wasn’t able to stop ground balls. Now listen...he was 7. Okay so this is totally normal. They are cute at this age - but they aren’t very good. BUT I knew he could do better than he was doing and I remember feeling so guilty because he was embarrassed that he swung and missed 5 times off the machine and had to go to the T all game. He was embarrassed that he got ready to ground a ball and then missed because his form was off. He was bummed and I was feeling sad that he wasn’t doing that great. It was hard to watch because I knew he had asked a million times to practice and I kept saying, “Yeah baby - we can in a little” and I just never got around to it. Sitting there watching him I couldn’t go back to all the times he asked me to practice. When he got in the car he said, “mom, you guys said we would practice baseball this week and we never did.” Ugh, gut check. Now, to be clear - we are not one of those parents that drill their 7 year olds because we want them to be a pro. We do like to spend time working with them just to build a relationship and Justin and I were athletes but there really isn’t any pressure here for him to be amazing...but you know that feeling when you know you could have done better...but since you didn’t practice - you performed poorly and you regret not spending more time practicing. That’s where we were. But the hardest part for me was that he couldn’t go out and throw a baseball alone. He couldn’t throw a ball to himself to practice swinging his bat and even if we had some fancy device that could do all of those things with him - they wouldn’t give him any feedback. The only way he was going to be more prepared for this game is if me or Justin went out with him and told him how to swing, or gave him feedback on his form or showed him how to not let a ground ball get by him.
This also happened with him when it came to spelling tests. He is in first grade and he has about 6 words a week he has to learn to spell. Well normally we would work on them each day and all year he had gotten 6/6. Well - when we got the 3 foster kiddos I forget about the words and tried to practice them with him the morning of the test. He got like 3/6 on that test.
This was also sobering because he had gotten a 6/6 all year because I spent time every day with these words. We would spell them out loud, we would write them in a pan of sugar to bring some sensory into his learning, we would spell them with our finger in the air, - you get the point. And every week he aced his spelling test. Until I stopped working with him. Once he’s older - he will learn to study independently but since he is only 7 - he depends on me to make the time to teach him, or coach him so that he is prepared. He is capable of learning but the prerequisite of him learning is my time and intention of doing so.
So things are going to come up, and we will say “later” to our children and genuinely mean it and then forget to come around to it. We will have every desire to practice with them but life happens and so it doesn’t happen. And that’s okay. That’s okay as long as that’s not the norm.
Especially when they will never sit around, at 7 and think...man I really need to work on my affirmations and self talk- you guys they don’t even have a word for that yet. They don’t even know how important it is. But that’s where we come in as parents. We take the time to care about their physical and emotional well-being...but lets not forget about their mental well being.
The thing we need to remember is that we need to start simple and get fancy later. There is so much information out there on the internet, especially on Pinterest or where ever else that show us these elaborate charts and tracking systems but that’s not needed to start. I started with affirmations because they are so simple and take 5 minutes a day and when done consistently can have a huge impact on not only our mind but on our children's minds. And that is the simple step we can start taking today.
I have crafted these episodes to have simple action steps in each category each week. I am also rotating through all 5 topics so we won’t talk about mindset again for 5 weeks. During that episode I will give you something else simple to implement with the hopes that affirmations are a habit by that time. So if you break it down for the year of 2020 we will focus on about 10-11 simple things to implement in each of the 5 areas that will build upon one another. So if you focus on each of the things I go through - imagine where you could be mentally, financially, or in your health journey, or your marriage or in your faith. New years is coming and I personally say we ditch the standard resolutions that fail within 3 weeks on average and just start focusing on small daily wins and see what consistency can do for us in the year of 2020.
And girl, don’t forget as you go into this day, whatever goal you are pursuing or whatever area you are struggling with - you are already enough.
Ok so action steps for this week. Head on over to www.simsarrows.com to sign up and grab my free affirmation guide that I made for you if you haven’t already - or if you want to just google affirmations and piece it together on your own or make up your own - more power to ya <3
Next, Join the Legacy through Motherhood facebook group. (This is different than my facebook page for all of you who have liked that) This group is exclusively for listeners to continue this conversation and support each other during the week. I have a pinned post that is all about mindset and affirmations. I would love for you guys to post your affirmations in the comments there that you have decided on for yourself and for your kids. This can help spark some ideas in others to find ones that would be perfect to use also. Please feel free to ask questions or share any videos with your kiddos doing affirmations on this page- I would love to see this.
Lastly, if you haven’t yet and you are enjoying this content, consider subscribing, rating and reviewing this podcast once you feel confident to do so! It helps it get more of a reach to other mamas that may need this same message.
Join me on the next episode as we dive into finances. My favorite. We are heading into the crazy buying season but as Dave Ramsey says, “Dont go into debt buying stupid stuff.” and “Don’t buy things you can’t afford with money you don’t have for people you don’t like.” Also, just a random tip that has worked for us. Our kids get 3 gifts each. Every Christmas. No more, no less. If Jesus was good with 3 gifts then my kids can be content with that also. Now, we go to their grandparents house and they still get spoiled there but in our home and our intimate Christmas with just our little family - it’s 3 gifts. In our home we focus on the meaning of Christmas, contentment, and giving. Then we go out and they get all kinds of stuff from their grandparents and aunts and uncles. We don’t have to deal with trying to get bigger and better every year. If something terrible happened later on and our money is tight we don’t have to worry about trying to keep up with the past Christmas’s so our kids aren’t dissappointed. It’s a simple and sustainable approach to Christmas for us. It’s not how my husband and I were raised necessarily but we started implementing this when our oldest was 3 and it’s been such a blessing every since.
Alright girl, head on over to that facebook page and say hi! I am so excited to continue this conversation and help you find your grit, as a mama, while completely covering you in grace.
Wanna stay up to date on all things Legacy through Motherhood? Drop your name/email below for weekly contact from me to you <3