PA Mini Sessions: Abbie & Gabby

OK, y’all, it’s about to get sentimental up in here. These are my baby sisters. Yes, I said baby sisters. They don’t look it though, right? I know…because they are so grown up. It’s kind of breaking my heart. I want to go back to the days of Hannah Montana karaoke in the living room and Barbie dream houses. You know, when they were in diapers and they idolized me. Click here for a sneak peek of those days! But, those days are gone. Now, these buttheads are all about making fun of me for wearing skinny jeans and tennis shoes and I kind of hate it.

I blinked and now the both of them are about to make their way to the adult table and I’m just so “shook” by how fast the time has gone. I swear I could’ve cried when I saw them during this last trip home. I just cannot believe they are 11 and 13.

Abbie is all attitude but in the best way possible. No one is going to tell her what to do. She has a mind all her own and she isn’t afraid to let you know how she feels. She is kind and generous, constantly thinking of others. I find myself in awe of her more times than not. During this shoot in particular, I was so proud of how she took charge. She was constantly corralling the younger girls with a patience and grace that I wish I had at her age.

And, then there is Gabby. She is still my wild child of a baby sister. She is constantly climbing trees and barns and about anything she can find. I really hate that she is growing up. All these years, she’s been the baby and now I’ve got to find a way to stop treating her like one because the fact of the matter is, she isn’t one anymore. She’s this ridiculously smart and charismatic kid who is on the brink of the dreaded JUNIOR HIGH! Though life is moving so fast all around her, she still manages to stay grounded, holding on to that unyielding sense of humor and I just love this about her.

This shoot was a little different than most, in that Jaime Lonigro of Lonigro Photography , was along for the ride. She set us up at the most amazing backdrop, her aunt’s farm in Marguerite, PA and brought her camera along so we could take advantage of second shooting for each other. Boy, was I glad she was there. I am always snapping photos of the girls but I never get any of the 3 of us and Jaime made sure to snap a bunch of us three together.

We worked our way up to the field above the farm for some photos in that golden wheat. It wasn’t the prettiest of days but the fall foliage was lighting up the trees and those cloudy skies cut the afternoon light and really created a different mood for the shoot. We told them to dance together and they interpreted that as square dance together. lol That’s Southwestern Pennsylvania for ya!

Before we finished up, I had Gabby pose with the umbrella for a few shots. The result was magic. Though we ended up missing the rain, the umbrella against her blue dress and the overcast sky made for an incredible portrait.

I was so thankful for yet another wonderful shoot with these girls. It is always a blast when I get to let them skip school and have a few photography lessons with me and it really melts my heart that they have taken a liking to portraiture. This year for Christmas, I hooked them up with their very own camera. They have been such a huge help with my shoots every time that I come back home and I just love watching them enjoy the process of posing clients and knowing which lens to use in which situation. I cannot wait to see where their camera takes them!

For information on how to book your unique Portrait Session here in Texas or when I am traveling in Pennsylvania, inquire with Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com. I would love to hear what you have in mind!

PA Portrait Session: the Greece Family

Hey guys! We’re back with more of our Portrait Sessions from our Pennsylvania Trip. The wild and crazy Greece Family is no stranger to the blog. In fact, I had the opportunity to photograph these guys twice last year. Our first portrait session took place at Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve in Latrobe, PA.  You can check out all the adorable photos from their summer session here.

This time around, we met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, PA for a huge family shoot. My Uncle Mark (Elliana and Jake’s Grandpa) had reached out about getting new Family Portraits taken of their whole crew and I was happy to oblige. I will soak up any chance I get to snuggle my precious Goddaughter and her big brother!

I knew this bunch would be a breeze. My Uncle Mark and Aunt Jackie have spent the last 40 some odd years putting their hearts and souls into being the best parents possible and it is such a joy to see them take on the challenge of being Grandparents! Needless to say, they’re naturals. Both Jake and Ellie wouldn’t know what to do without their Mimi and Popop.

We managed to snag a few photos where everyone was looking at the camera but I really fell in love with the one of the whole crew looking at Jake. He just has the biggest smile on his face. It was so wonderful to see them all interacting together and I cannot believe we fit all their BIG HEADS in one shot.

Next up, Uncle Mark and Aunt Jackie. I am always over the moon when Grandma and Grandpa want to jump in on some photos so I made sure to get some of just the two of them together. I had them both giggling when I told them to pose “prom-style”. These were by far my favorite images of the bunch. I even cried a little bit. They’ve been through a lifetime of ups and downs and they’ve still got each other to lean on after all these years.

Aunt Jackie was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get any photos of them with their Grandchildren because Jake and Ellie are movers and shakers. With that in mind, I told them to just play with them instead of posing them and I love the way these turned out. The three images above are a true testament to what a day with their grandparents look like; a whole lotta love and even more laughs!

Last but not least, the best picture, these 2 goofballs. They wanted a photo of them posing like the Stepbrothers DVD cover and how special are they?!? We call this “Real Brothers”! I always have so much fun with these guys! We’ve spent a lifetime growing up together and I love knowing that we will always have each other!

Family Portrait Session: Meet Baby Sage

Hey guys! Meet the sweetest little family in the whole wide world, the Plourdes. Just a little over a year ago, Mama, Lisa, and Daddy, Jeff, welcomed their bundle of joy, Sage Marie, into the world. During our last trip back to Pennsylvania, I had the pleasure of meeting up with this adorable trio and capturing their Family Portraits.

We met at Laurel Valley Country Club in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Lisa’s Dad is the Greenskeeper there and we had exclusive access to the property. It didn’t hurt our case that it pretty much poured down rain all day so we knew that no one would be on the course. In fact, we spent the majority of the day crossing our fingers in hopes that the rain would let up so we might be able to capture this family’s first portraits.

To our surprise, the rain did let up and the overcast skies held out for over an hour. The light was perfect, the baby was dressed and ready so off we went! Laurel Valley is a little slice of heaven in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania. This course was the site of a Major Senior PGA some years back and to boot, Arnold Palmer’s statue will forever look out over the greens from the Clubhouse. The greens would be the perfect backdrop for this trio’s portrait session.

I’ve known this sweet little family for quite some time now. The long story short is that my husband met Lisa when he first moved to the southwestern PA area and I knew Jeff as a fireman who came into the bar I worked at during college. We introduced the two of them at a Halloween party and then came the magic. They met, hit it off and tied the knot. Within a few years of wedded bliss, they were blessed with news of a baby girl. And, then came Sage, a giggly, gorgeous ray of sunshine!

This curly haired cutie just turned ONE year old and we can barely believe it. She is a quiet little thing with a big personality. Mom and Dad informed us that little Miss had just began to walk. They even remarked on her skills by saying “she walks like E.T.” which we all got a kick out of once we saw it in person!

Sage is a joyful baby. She is sweet and seriously so beautiful! It was so wonderful to see these guys together! Both my husband and I love Pennsylvania and seeing these crazy cats made us nostalgic for the good old days when we first met. We talk about coming back and living through all the seasons again and it makes us miss these guys so much.

Lisa, Jeff, & Baby Sage live in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. During our session, we got to see melting snow, old Dutch-inspired barns and the first signs of spring. I am so happy that I got to photograph this family during our last visit and I cannot wait to see them again! Lots of love Plourdes!!

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Did you know that The Rustie Nail Creative Studio is heading back to the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania in May!?!

I will be hosting Spring Mini Sessions on Sunday, May 27th, 2018 at two different exclusive locations in the Laurel Highlands! Sessions will be 25 minutes long, all images will be edited and delivered electronically and the price is just $80! We only have a few slots left so book yours today by emailing Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com

 

 

PA Holiday Portrait Session: Mommy, Daddy & Maggie

Hey guys! I know I have been overwhelming your timelines with adorable babies and gingham but tis the season! I love December. 1 because it’s my Birthday Month (& Jesus’ Birthday too) and 2 because it is Christmas Card Season and I get to catch up with so many wonderful families, including this bunch! Meet Anthony, Sara and their baby girl, Maggie!

 

You may notice this trio from last year’s Blog spotlight on their 2016 Holiday Portrait Session.  They had so much fun frollicking in their backyard last year that they decided to invite me back to their home to snap a few more photos of their lovely family!

 

This bunch lives out in the middle of nowhere and I completely love it. Their home is surrounded by Forbes State Forest and we were lucky enough to capture the trees and the fall foliage in all its’ glory! And, is Maggie’s shirt the cutest or what? Mom told me that Maggie picked out her outfit. Fashionista in the making? I think so.

 

We met at their home but after stopping for a few shots on the wooden bridge that leads to their home, we made out way down to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Powder Mill Nature Reserve. After walking around the property and taking a short stroll in the woods, Miss Maggie found herself a rock with message and the rest of the shoot turned into a treasure hunt of sorts. She was all giggles.

 

The sun was just beginning to seriously set when we decided to head to the Powdermill Avian Research Center near their home. These guys always take me on the best adventures and Anthony is so into his neighborhood. He is always surprising me with new places right in our own backyard. There was a pond and a great dock, lots of trails and bunnies hopping all over the place. Maggie was smitten.

 

The next 3 photos are my favorites of the whole bunch. I told Anthony and Sara to race Maggie to me. Problem being if you know Mags, she’s never really in a race. She goes at her own pace. She is a curious, wandering babe always questing for adventure and I kinda love that about her.

 

Once she “won” the race, we headed to a nearby bench to soak in the last of the sunset. We even managed to catch a glimpse of the moon rising over the tree line. Mags wasn’t quite ready for the adventure to end so we just sat a little while longer.

 

After a few shots of Mom and Dad loving on their baby girl, we decided it was time to hit the hay. As per the usual, this family shoot was a complete joy. I love Anthony and Sara’s adventurous hearts and I adore that they are bringing up a happy, healthy, blue-eyed baby girl with the same zest for life and all its’ journeys.

 

I’ve heard that if you do something twice, it’s a tradition. So, let’s meet back up next year Pologrutos. I am always down for another adventure into the woods and Merry Christmas!

To inquire about booking your unique Portrait Session, email therustienailhead@gmail.com for Packaging and Pricing Details. I would love to meet you and see what kind of vision you have in mind for your families next big moment!

Engagement Session: Sam & Andrew

Are you guys ready for the most adorable engagement session?!? I had the great pleasure of documenting this special time for a longtime family friend, Samantha, and her sweet fiancé, Andrew, while I was back in Pennsylvania and I have been itching to share a few highlights with you guys!

 

Samantha is the very best friend to my younger cousin, Lisa, and over the years, I have had the great pleasure of watching their sweet friendship blossom. We’ve spent 21st birthdays together and almost every Memorial Day for the last 10 years chilling by the pool. Flash forward to today and these childhood besties are still going strong hence the reason I felt compelled to love on Sam and her adorable fiancé.

 

This session has been in the books for quite some time now. When we first started talking about engagement photos, she mentioned that she would love to have fall colors in her photos since they would be getting married in October. I love that she wanted to incorporate the beautiful fall foliage of the Laurel Highlands into their shoot so I made it a point to fly back in November to help make her wish come true!

 

We could not have picked a better week for a portrait session. Though it was a little bit chilly, the colors were in full force and I couldn’t wait to capture these two celebrating their love story. We decided to meet at Linn Run State Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania for an afternoon basking in the last little bit of sunlight before Daylight Savings hit.

 

We started our shoot at Adams Falls. We even blew off a few smoke bombs but I am not gonna lie, the shots were no bueno. My assistant, aka My Mama, wasn’t the best special effects coordinator so we ended up with a few photos of these two choking on the smell of the sulphur but I gotta give them props, both Andrew and Sam just laughed it off.

 

It is amazing how much I got to learn about these two while photographing these images. Considering how long I have known them, I thought had their personalities down to a T but sure enough, they kept surprising me. Sam and Andrew have 2 completely different personalities. Sam is wild and crazy, witty and so hilarious at all the right moments and by contrast, Andrew is quiet and stoic, smart and more than happy to let Sam take the lead 80% of the time. But together, these two have their own personality. Together, they both smile bigger and brighter. They have that sort of affection that only could only come from really knowing one another. After all these years together, I think it is fair to say that these sweethearts have got it figured out.

 

After playing around at Adams Falls for a bit, I told them to jump in the car to follow me on a little adventure. We raced our way down the mountain towards a dirt road for those really pretty natural light photos and then we made our back towards Ligonier so we could fence-hop. Yes, I do trespass with my clients’ consent and thank goodness these two are always down for an adventure. We made our way to a small stream that was surrounded with sugar maples and elm trees. When the light began to flicker in, these two got their snuggle on for some of the most adorable shots.

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Our last set of images were the best. Sam wanted to add a little personal touch to their shoot. Since they got engaged in New York City, she had brought along the infamous “I LOVE NY” shirts for a few fun shots.  I even laughed out loud when I realized that Andrew had been wearing it all along under his flannel! Smart guy, he is!

 

If I were to offer any solid piece of advice to these two as they embark on this wonderful journey together,  it would be this…

 ‘It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love, rivers cannot wash it away.” Song of Solomon 8: 6-7

In other words, love each other hard through all of it because there will be good and there will be bad but you guys, you will always have each other to lean on. Remember that and remember that marriage is work, really hard work but the absolute best kind of work too. Stay true to your love for one another and you two will be golden. Oh, and Congratulations!!

 

Pennsylvania Holiday Mini Sessions: Ricky, Hanna & Grandpa

Ya’ll!!!!! Meet Hanna! This is my beautiful ginger haired baby cousin! I have been wanting to photograph this little lady for the longest time and we finally made it happen when I was last visiting back home in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Back story, real quick. Hanna is my 2nd cousin. Her dad, Ricky, is my first cousin and his Dad, my Uncle Rick, is also my Godfather so I think it’s fair to say that my heart just exploded when I got the chance to look through these images. For as long as I can remember, my whole family has been telling me that Hanna is my mini-me. See, when I was a little lass, this girl and I could have been twins. Yep, I had that red hair, those big blue eyes and the same wild and crazy personality!

We met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania for a huge gathering of family photos but more on all that goodness later. Hanna and her Dad followed me down to the lake for a few quick shots of just them together. These are my favorite images because they look so natural and relaxed. Ricky is even giving her “the claw” in one of the photos. If you don’t know what the “claw” is, trust me, you don’t want to.

Soon after, the oldest and wisest of the Greece clan (9 kids in all) made his way down for a few photos with his son and granddaughter. My Uncle Rick was a surprise that day and man am I glad he came! I hadn’t seen him in so long and it was so good to see him and chat him up. He’s the same, smart and kind, just a little more gray than the last time I saw him. It really isn’t fair. All the men in this family just get more handsome with time.

I remember being a kid and looking through boxes of old photos that all those before me had taken. I loved it. I still do and it’s such a neat idea to think that Hanna and my sisters and all the younger cousins will get a chance to look through these one day and talk about how we all met at the park for photos and then we all went out to dinner at The Red Brick for pizza and then we laughed until we cried. That’s what I love most about this shoot, that I got to share it with so many of the people I love, especially these 3 looney tunes.

I had the best time catching up with my family during this shoot. I always tell everyone that it is so hard to see all of them when we come back to visit but man am I thankful that I have a family who will rearrange all their schedules in an instant just to have one afternoon being together. This family is wild and crazy, that’s for sure, but they are a group of people who love fiercely and uplift one another always and I am so thankful to be a part of it! Love you guys!

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For more information on when and where The Rustie Nail will be heading to in 2018, follow along on Instagram @therustienail. We’ll be back in PA, Canada and up next, Arizona so keep an eye out for travel updates!

Laurel Highlands Holiday Mini Sessions: Kaison

Hey guys! We’re back with yet another adorable baby. He is wild and crazy like his Mama and tough and bull-headed like his Daddy. Ya’ll Meet Kaison Bolish! I had the pleasure of snuggling on this goofy little guy while I was back home visiting in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania! With that devilish smirk and his sweet dimples, this little charmer is about to drop a CUTE bomb!

This little stinker was featured on our Blog last year for his first ever Holiday Mini Session. I met with his Mama and Papa at Grandpa’s farm for a bunch of maternal family portraits! We had the whole gang out for a fun day on the farm. You can check it all out here. Grandma and Grandpa Stickle even got caught sneaking a few kisses during the shoot!

This shoot would be a little different than the last. My longtime buddy, Kendrick aka Kaison’s daddy, was out hunting deer so Mama would be bringing baby boy by Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, PA for a quick and easy shoot while all the leaves were  still changing colors.

Kelly showed up early with her little guy looking handsome as ever. Seeing that he had a slight case of the sniffles, we chose to keep his session short and sweet. Babies run out of fuel after about 30 pictures anyway so we just let Kaison run around the park while I snapped away! And yes I did say run. The last time I saw this little ham he was just learning how to crawl! How is this child running?!?!?

In all seriousness, I need time to slow down. Kaison is already a year and a half old!! And, I swear he gets more handsome daily.  I love watching his Mama’s Snapchats and seeing what this little butthead is up to all the time. Thank God for FaceTime and SnapChat and all the wonderful technology that allows me to still be apart of Kaison’s life even when I am 1800 miles away.

What’s left to day? He is the cutest. You know it. I know it. Everybody knows it. Heck, even HE knows it! Now let’s just hope Mommy and Daddy give this handsome fella a baby sister sometime soon so I can photograph her too! 🙂

 If you would like to inquire about booking a session when I am visiting in Pennsylvania, follow along on Instagram @therustienail for Travel Updates or email me at therustienailhead@gmail.com!

Ellie’s Newborn Session: Part II

And, they’re back! Mama Carly, Baby Ellie and I had so much fun doing Ellie’s Newborn Shoot that we decided to extend their session so Daddy could join in on the fun. We met at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg, Pennsylvania so we could capture a few photos of this adorable Trio!

Fall was really starting to kick in and you could feel the temperature dropping as we got closer to sunset so we decided to keep this shoot sweet and simple. I love shooting Newborns outside in the natural light because every little wrinkle and dimple is so perfectly exaggerated during that golden hour but I had no intentions of letting Baby Ellie get a cold. I assured first time parents, Carly and Jesse, that we would make it quick!

Because Mommy and Baby had a chance to do a full on photo shoot together already, I wanted to make sure got some photos of Daddy and his little lady. After snagging a few Family Portraits, I told Mama to hand Baby Girl over to Dad!

So he of course grabbed her up like a football and began snuggling his newest little nugget. Ellie was as happy as a clam cozied up to her Daddy!

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Did someone say Daddy’s Girl? Just look at the way she is looking at her Papa Bear!

TETKOSKINEWBORN-26But as cute as Daddy is with his little girl, my all time favorite images from this set are the ones of these three together! Jesse and Carly are naturals. You can tell that they are over the moon with joy and Ellie seems all too pleased to be along for the ride.

This session was so fun and so easy. I had these 3 in and out of the park in less than 20 minutes! I had the best time getting to hang out with this adorable trio and I look forward to seeing them again! Congratulations Jesse & Carly!

 

Newborn Session: Baby Ellie

Just a little over a month ago, first time parents, Jesse and Carly welcomed this little lady into the world and while visiting back home in Pennsylvania, I got the chance to spend some time with Baby Ellie and her sweet Mama, Carly! We met on a dreary Wednesday morning at their home for baby girl’s first photo shoot!

I loved the black and whites of this munchkin’s shoot. Every single image looks so timeless and her little face, those pouty lips, those chubby toes, she just looks so perfect. This little one is going to be the cause of some major baby fever!

We propped her up on a bean bag in front of their dining room windows and Baby Ellie just napped the afternoon away basking in the sunlight. She was smiling during her dreams and giving us the biggest yawns. Props to Mama on her bow and diaper ruffle too. This Mama had all the right ideas when it came to dolling her baby up!

Once we wrapped up the indoor photos, we decided to bundle Ellie up in fur vests and swaddles and venture out into the yard for a few natural light photos. I always love this part of the shoot. I wanted to make sure to get a photo of Carly and her little love in front of the house, especially with all those leaves changing around their property. I just love the idea that one day, 20 years from now, Carly and Jesse will be able to show their daughter pictures of the house they first brought her home to that fall in 2017.

And can we talk about how fabulous Carly looks?! I may be prejudice because I adore redheads but this Ginger Mama is simply stunning! You can tell that Motherhood definitely agrees with her in all the right ways. She has all the right moves to calm her baby girl down in an instant all the while making it look so effortless. And that hair, seriously, both these babes are gorgeous! And yes I am still crossing my fingers that little Miss Ellie will sprout some ginger locks any day now!

Though the weatherman was calling for some pretty nasty stuff, we managed to get all our outdoor shots in with only a small drizzle coming down. We didn’t want to keep Ellie out too long anyway so once we had snapped a few photos in their front yard, we headed inside to see the nursery. Ellie’s room was adorned with butterflies and blankets embroidered in shades of lavender, perfectly fit for a princess.

I had so much fun with these babes that we decided to extend our shoot so Daddy could join in on the fun! Stay tuned because Part II of Ellie’s Newborn Shoot is up next!

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DFW Holiday Mini Sessions slots are still available to those of you who are interested! Inquiries about booking your unique session can be emailed to Angelina at therustienailhead@gmail.com!

Greensburg Salem Class of 2017: Kiara’s Senior Session

This lady is no stranger to the Blog. Kiara has been featured in family portraits and I have had the great pleasure of helping her build her modeling portfolio on more than one occasion. This go-around in front of the lens would be different. This shoot was all about this baby girl graduating high school in a few short months. Que the tears. She’s my little cousin. As in, she was born when I was already half grown so the fact that she’s graduating high school is kind of a reality check. Holy crap. I’m really 29. She is really 18. What is happening??? I mean, really guys. There is a story about us that gets told at every family function and to this day, still pains me.

It was my first time changing a baby’s diaper. Her grandmother had told me to lay a blanket down on the table and lay her down on her back, grab the wipes, blah blah. I was 11. I wanted to show her that I knew what I was doing. Everything was going fine. Until, I forgot to grab the diaper. So, I placed my hand on her belly to prevent her from rolling off the table and reached with my other hand for the diaper.

In those 2 seconds, this sweet little baby reached her tiny little hand around and grabbed the closest thing…a steaming hot cup of coffee. It spilled all over the table and down her teeny tiny back. I did my best to clean her up and calm her down but she kept screaming. I felt like I had burns all over my body. That’s how bad I felt. It was killing me to see her in pain. I was cursed. I was never going to touch another baby again.

After rushing her to the ER, they confirmed she was gonna make it. Or at least that’s how it felt to me that the time. Within a week or so, her baby soft skin had healed itself. We all forget how resilient kids are. We drill into them to get back on the horse. So they do. And they come back bigger and stronger every time. The reason I am telling you all this is because this girl right here is a fighter. Even as a toddler, she was sassy. She seems real quiet at first, minds her Ps &Qs, but just give her the chance to say what’s on her mind, and you all are gonna see the world a little bit differently. She is strong, kind and probably the biggest klutz I know but she has very bright future ahead of her. Congrats Kiara. I cannot wait to see where this journey takes you. And, I am officially stating how sorry I am for traumatizing you as a little one. Think of it this way, you’re still cute so we’re square. Love you Kiki!

Do you have a Senior graduating in 2017? Are YOU graduating this year? We offer Graduation Portrait Packages for every price point because we know how hard you’ve worked and that should be documented. I wanna hear your vision. Shoot me some ideas at therustienailhead@gmail.com because I’d love to hear what you’ve got in mind. Let’s start off the last half of your Senior Year with a photo shoot to highlight your achievements and get onto those Senior Week Trips and College Applications!!

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SIDENOTE: Yes, we did go down the humongous slide and it ended up being soaking wet. Still fun though. This huge slide is located at Mammoth Park near Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. Words of advice: Bring wax paper and a little Pam and maybe, a pillow to land on at the bottom. 🙂