The Experience : Psychic at my Bachelorette Party

The Experience: Psychic

The Location: Austin, Texas

The Set Up: My sister/Maid of Honor surprised me at my Bachelorette Party with this activity

The Takeaway: Actually the best bonding piece of my bachelorette party!

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Picture this, it’s 3:50pm and all my friends are running around the house anxiously getting ready for the next surprise activity they planned for my bachelorette party in Austin, Texas. The doorbell rang and I had no idea what was happening next. Could it be strippers?!

As I walked downstairs, I saw a woman dressed in all white who made herself comfortable by surrounding herself with crystals and tarot cards in the dining room of our adorable airbnb in Austin, Texas.

“Hi! I’m your psychic for today! All the girls will take turns receiving 15-minute readings. Before we start, take time to meditate on three questions you’d like to ask.“

YESSS! This is SO cool. I’ve actually never been to a psychic before, even though I’ve always been curious whenever I walk by those stand alone psychic storefronts.

While the psychic started giving everyone individual readings, the rest of the girls and myself started drinking rose on the patio and gifting me with lingerie. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Bachelorette parties are the best and everyone should get married for the sole purpose of experiencing this. ;)

Before we started, everyone had so many feelings and emotions since this experience was also new for everyone else. Thoughts that came up for people: “What do I do if she tells me something bad will happen? What should I ask? Will it work? Do you believe in psychics?”

The amazing part of doing this experience was the conversation and bonding that happened while all of us were outside hanging out while one person was doing the reading. Whenever someone came out, we’d all listen intently as the person shared their experience, and would laugh or listen empathetically with what was being said. It helped people open up amongst each other, and was the easiest way to open up meaningful discussions, while still being goofy and admittedly a little tipsy off the rose.

When I went in for my reading, the psychic had such a calming energy. She gave me some interesting insights: she saw a happy marriage between my fiance and I, and that we were married in a past life (totally believe it). She chatted about my spirit guides, the spirits and children she saw around me, and even said I had a bit of clairvoyance I could tap into more if I tried.

My reading was sweet and loving, compared with some of the intense responses I heard from my friends. One girl had a reading that was spot on, telling her that she knew it was extra difficult for her to move on from her on and off again ex because they also had issues in a past life. Another girl was told she had “whale energy.” This had us all laughing for a good ten minutes and confusing google with a million searches of what “whale energy” meant.

Overall, I’d say this was actually the best bonding piece of my bachelorette party. We had the most incredible time and it was so amazing for us to share that experience together, which was a first for all of us. Even better than strippers, ha! Truly my ideal pre-game for our night out ;)

Honeymoon Packing: The Five Essentials to Bring

No matter where your honeymoon is taking you, these five essentials are perfect for any newlywed!

Eberjay Intimates - the softest pjs I have! 

Eberjay Intimates - the softest pjs I have! 

Sexy Lingerie: Obviously, I had to start with this one. TIme to put that lingerie from your bridal shower/bffs to use! If you’re only bringing a carry on and don’t have much space, just bring a couple items to make the honeymoon fun and show off the #sexybride look ;)

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Camera: Your iPhone does not count. Try bringing a camera that isn’t your phone so that you and your boo can have all the quality time without your phone’s natural distractions.

 

 

 

 

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Journal: Wherever you’re traveling, it may be nice to bring your journal and spend some time reflecting and being intentional.

Some prompts to get you started:

  • What are 5 things you and your partner want to accomplish in the first year of marriage?
  • What were your emotions on your wedding day?
  • List 20 things your grateful for.
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Book: It’s your honeymoon, but girl still needs some time to herself! Being together 24/7 is fun and all, but there may be moments when one person wants to do a different activity. For example, my husband was going to the gym every morning but I preferred to hangout in our gorgeous outdoor space in the room. Bring a book or kindle with you for breaks on the beach, bedside reading, or airplane commutes.

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Medicine: While I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, both my husband and I got food poisoning on our honeymoon! It was très romantique hearing each other vomit one after the other. Ultimate marriage test.

Bring your meds of choice (I prefer herbal) in case anything happens to be prepared for whatever situation may arise, though I hope it doesn’t!

 

 

Extras: There are so many other fun ideas for newleyweds to bring on their honeymoon, like matching luggage tags, shirts (I saw five couples while traveling that had matching husband/wifey shirts), special champagne or liquor if you've got a carry on, and so much more. But now that you've got the basics, everything else is a bonus :) 

Simple as that! Hope you have the best honeymoon ever!

How to Have the Best Wedding Morning Ever

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

The night before my wedding I did not sleep. I had allll the aim of heading to bed early and was cozied up by 11pm, but my excitement and nerves kept me awake throughout the whole night. I did not let that stop getting more #weddingdayglow and used that energy to wake me up early in the morning. The hours before the wedding celebration were honestly some of my favorite moments, so here’s how to have the most fabulous morning ever before you tie the knot.

MORNING MEDITATION

You can meditate wherever you are. I luckily had the privilege of having my wedding right by the water, so I woke up at the crack of dawn at 6:15am, got myself a hot water with lemon and walked to the water for a short gratitude meditation amidst the birds, bay, and trees.

You can do this everywhere and it’s the easiest way to start your wedding morning with peace. As the saying goes, “How you live your morning is how you live your day, which is how you live your life.”

See, mornings count!

WEDDING DAY YOGA

Yes, you’ve heard us #preach all about wedding day yoga as that’s part of our business after all, but I got to first hand experience what this was like for my own wedding and it was a transformational and powerful experience. Could not recommend it ENOUGH.

I opened the invitation to all of our wedding guests to join the morning class, and we had 38 people show. At 7:30 am in the morning on a Saturday. Hello #tribe, I love you. The yoga instructor (aka best friend and cofounder of wedwell) started out the class with an incredibly beautiful intention setting, and some sweet words about the bride, ahem, me. Crying.

We ended the class with a giant group hug where my friends & family from all over the world were connected and spreading so much love.

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

HOT TUB RELAXATION

I hope I’m not the only one who is obsessed with hot tubs. Just the act of being able to go into a hot tub makes me so excited/relaxed at the same time, so naturally I wanted to go into the tub after my morning yoga class. My wedding was at a resort so it was easy to do, but if you’re wedding is somewhere else you can do this by going to a local gym, spa or hotel for the morning!

PADDLE BOARD

This one is more applicable if your wedding is near the water, but the mindset of this activity is all the same! Get outside with your best friends! My husband and his groomsmen started the morning with a group paddle board session. Apparently three of the guys fell into the cold water, but at least my husband didn’t get cold feet (ha ha ha).

Enjoy your morning and do whatever makes you the happiest! For me, it’s yoga and nature. For you, that could be reading or writing. Start your day intentionally and the rest of the day will flow.

 

 

The Best Way to Avoid Wedding Day Stress: Organization

written by Helen Schulthesis

Ah, organization, the often overlooked antidote to stress.

As a new bride, I’m sure you’re painfully well aware that your wonderful wedding day will be chock full of small yet important details. If left unattended to, those tiny details can cause a huge headache or outburst, putting a damper on this significant day. 

It is my firm belief that if all these details are planned in advanced, the smoother the day will go and the more relaxed you’ll be. No one likes a bridezilla, and trust me, it’s actually not fun to feel like one. If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, you can rest easy that most of the heavy hitting will be done already, but if you don’t, it’s time to open up google spreadsheets and make some lists. Light a candle, breathe deeply, and most importantly, give yourself enough time to figure everything out.  

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First and foremost, create a timeline for the wedding weekend listing each task or event, the timing, and people involved. You can create this in google drive, and send it out to your wedding party and family— make sure everyone knows who’s doing what in advance and that all questions are answeredWithin this doc you’ll also want to include phone numbers and names of important vendors and members of the wedding party so that people can easily get in touch. Believe me, you won’t want a million people approaching you like you’re a phone book at your rehearsal dinner. 

Next, ensure readings, vows, toasts, and anything else that needs to be printed is done a day or two beforehand! Trying to find a printer last minute or reading a toast from your phone is an etiquette faux pas. If there are important things that need to be brought to the venue (card box, guest book, favors, etc.) designate a responsible friend to organize and place these items appropriately.

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You probably know this one already, but be prepared for “day of” emergencies with a good bridal kit. Make your own or find them on Etsy! I always bring band aids, perfume, bobby pins, stain remover, blotting papers, gum and tissues. On that note, make sure to designate fifteen minutes to eat while getting ready and be sure to drink enough water— you’re going to want to feel confident and radiant during your ceremony, not wobbly and nauseous.  Getting ready with your girls is definitely more fun with a good playlist and a wireless speaker— so have your bestie set something up in advance (and make sure songs are appropriate enough for Grandma!)

 

Lastly, please, please, please do yourself a favor and have a rain plan in place. Weather is a major stressor for many brides, but it doesn’t have to be! Knowing you have solid plan in case of inclement weather will free up your mind for the upcoming celebration. With all the logistics and details organized in advanced, you’ll be free to spend the precious hours before your wedding sipping mimosas and bonding with your babes. Now that’s a wedding day well planned. 

 

Four Reasons To Mix and Match Bridesmaid Dresses

Photo by Amanda K White Photography

Photo by Amanda K White Photography

The mix and match bridesmaid dress look is very in trend, and I am ALL about it. I did this for my own bridesmaids and they looked absolutely stunning. My husband did the same thing with his groomsmen too, so this works both ways, and allows all wedding party members to show off their unique style.

Here’s why this way totally rocks:

 1. One Dress Does Not Fit All

This will be no surprise to you, but our bodies are all made differently. Instead of choosing a dress that could leave one person feeling uncomfortable, why not just grant them the autonomy to select their own look?

2. Everyone Has a Different Budget

By telling your bridesmaids a specific look and feel, but allowing them to make the final choice, they can select a dress that meets suits their look AND is in their budget. You may find one bridesmaid will buy her dress for $30 used online, and another will buy a full price Reformation dress. Regardless of the price differentiation, everyone will look cohesive and beautiful!

3. Saves Everyone Time

Planning a wedding takes a ton of time- and the last thing you need is more work! Instead of coordinating different times to go bridesmaid dress shopping, have everyone choose their own. While you may think it’s no big deal, your bridesmaids have to do a LOT for you leading up to your wedding so this is one area where everyone can have some time back. 

4. Embrace the Differences in Style

It might just be me and the influence of living in NYC where everyone CRAVES to look different, but the idea of having everyone wear the same thing just because they are in your wedding party so weird to me. This is not to say it is not beautiful, but can bring up a deeper conversation on why we need people in our life to all look and act one certain way. Embrace the differences and see how stunning your bridal babes are when they feel confident, and in their own style!

For reference, this is the exact email I had sent my bridesmaids to get the ideal look!

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#wedwellbrides: Willa from @viathevan

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I'm sure you've already heard all about vanlife through the popularity it's gained on instagram and the intriguing New Yorker article, but have you ever been curious of how couples actually do it? I mean, what is it really like living together in that tiny space? I (Lilia) and am all for the trend and Olivia is not so sure!

We got to chat with Willa, one half of the instagram @viathevan where she and her husband moved into vanlife one year after getting married. Read below for all things marriage and #vanlife related...who knows, maybe you'll be inspired and try van life out for yourself! xx

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?

Knowing whether we were making the very best decision. You don’t think you’ll be the couple that frets over whether your dinner napkins should be ivory or off-white but once things really start to come together, you don’t want anything to be out of place. People are always saying that guests won’t notice those little missteps but truthfully, it’s not about what your friends and family do or don’t notice, it’s about knowing you and your partner created something magical, something as close to whatever you deem ‘perfect’ as humanly possible.

What was it like doing vanlife after getting married? 

It was like getting thrown into the marital gauntlet. We were married for exactly one year before moving into the van- our first night in the van was the day after our anniversary- and while we had spent a lot of time together over the course of our first seven years, van life was something new entirely. Luke and I share the same moral compass, spiritual beliefs and life goals but as far as the day-to-day, we’re opposites. We quickly found that in order to live happily together in such a tiny space, we had to make sure we weren’t compromising on our desires. We would often take turns picking the day’s activity or would take quick jaunts on our own. In the end, we fought a lot (typical) but became better communicators and learned what each of us needs to be our best partner selves.

What was the best part of being engaged?

Telling our engagement story! Luke was so proud of the ring he snagged me and the location of our proposal that both of us just lit up when someone asked about how it happened. Montana has become our favorite state as a couple and jump at any opportunity to return.

What shifted for you since getting married?

Honestly not too much. I think the first year we were both just so high on life. All we wanted to do was scurry home and snuggle. We were living in the same apartment as we always had been but now it felt even more like home- there was a family inside that had so much potential for growth and change. Not that it wasn’t there before but we’d talked about getting married since year 1 so it was wild to realize that big life checkbox had been accomplished.

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What would you tell other brides-to-be right now?

Ooph, such a tricky question! You start to get advice from so many angles that sometimes your eyes begin to glaze over #guilty. If I could travel back in time and tell my earlier planning self one tip it would be this, listen to your little gut, don’t settle, find exactly what you’re looking for because it’s out there and you’ll be so so incredibly happy that you did. I spent every one of the 365 days of planning looking for very specific pieces; flatware, florals, garlands, runners etc and the entire time I kept asking myself if it was going to be worth it. For me the answer was yes. All the time I dedicated to eBay that I will never get back made sitting next to my husband, smiling at not only all of our friends and family but out at the party I put together, that much greater! So maybe more universal, find out that thing that’s really really important to you and don’t give up on making it a reality. You got this.

What was the biggest surprise you had while planning your wedding?

How many people accepted our invitation! You go into your numbers with the assumption anywhere between 15-30% will decline but I think we had just a handful of people who weren’t able to make it. Our venue was sent down from wedding gods and didn’t have a cap so it was definitely the more the merrier!

How have your perceptions on marriage shifted since being married?

Will Smith was quoted recently talking about marriage in a way we don’t often hear but we feel is an important part of finding your life partner,  “[Jada’s] happiness was her responsibility and my happiness was my responsibility and we decided that we were going to find our individual internal, private joy and then we were going to present ourselves to the relationship and to each other, already happy. Not coming to each other, begging with our empty cups demanding that she fill my cup and demanding that she meet my needs. It’s unfair and it’s kind of unrealistic and can be destructive to place the responsibility for your happiness on anybody other than yourself.” We dig that. Less pressure on your partner to complete you but rather to accompany you down life’s path. We’re two different people who decided to link up, and essentially come to all future decisions as a unit- something inherently difficult to accomplish. We’re going into our third year knowing that everyday we choose one another and this life we’ve created.

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Staying in Control by Learning to Let Go

On your wedding day, it can be tempting to micromanage every little detail. It is,
after all, your day, right?! You want it to be EXACTLY how you envisioned it. That is
natural. However, throughout the process, it is important to remember that life is
FULL of curveballs and in the wedding planning process there is a huge margin for
error always, and it is important (and yes, possible) to oversee your wedding
planning while also going with the flow.

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Stuff happens. We know this from every day life. Why would that fact of life change just because it is your wedding? **Hint: it doesn’t (no matter how badly we want it
to).
Wedwell is based very deeply in mental wellness because the stress of a planning a wedding and entering a marriage is A LOT. Sometimes you just have to
say to yourself, “this is a lot for me, and that’s okay.” I think we tend to work ourselves into a frenzy trying to manage every last detail—the fact is, that doesn’t make us feel better, it often makes us feel worse. Because we are, in fact, not in total control. A wedding involves so many people, so many moving parts, and so many emotions. They aren’t all yours to bear. You are better off if you can recognize that
early on.


Living a balanced life entails staying in control of what you can, and letting go of
what you cannot. The same is true of your wedding day (though it may be much
more difficult to let go). Though we cannot choose how we feel, we can choose how
we enter a situation, and the things we are attached to. We recommend walking into
wedding planning with a balanced and clear mindset: what are you attached to, and
what are you not attached to? This will allow both you and your partner to find a
clear compromise with minimal stress. Some of our favorite ways to enter a balanced                                                        mindset are talking a walk around the block (bonus points for leaving your phone at home),                                        meditating ,and writing a gratitude list.

Let us know how you find a calm mindset in the comments! 

Finding the peace within change

It’s often said that the only consistent in life is change, and as a person in their mid twenties, I can definitely contest to that statement! Moving, dating, career changes, etc. are ever present, and while change is often a positive growth, it can also add chaos to your day to day life while you get settled in your new state of mind!

I’ve found during times of change-induced stress, I need self-care more than ever! Bring on the yoga, journaling, and endless cups of tea. Here are a few of my favorite ways to overcome stress with a peaceful state of mind:  

1. Cherish simple routines

  • One of my favorite ways to add stabilization to a hectic day, especially if you’re in a new place, is by finding simple routines to do. Some of my favorite routines are ones I can do from anywhere. For example, you could start your day with hot water and lemon, do sun salutations in the morning, or try to meditate before bed    

2. Meditate

  • Speaking of meditating... it's the perfect way to ground yourself, and find peace amidst change and chaos. With apps, it’s easier than ever to meditate, and can be done from anywhere, for as long as works with your schedule. My go-to meditation apps are Headspace, Simple Habit, and Buddify. Let me know in the comments if you have another app you prefer!

3. Find moments for yourself

  • The most important thing, especially if you are in a new relationship or job, is finding moments where you can reconnect with yourself, and allow time to process and reflect. This could be setting a daily reminder, taking a walk during work, or going electronics free one night a week.

4. Offer yourself grace & patience

  • Above all else, cut yourself some slack. Adapting to new routines, new roles, and new relationships takes a ton of mental energy, and it is important you offer love & patience to yourself during this time! Let yourself sleep in, indulge in your netflix guilty pleasures, and treat yourself when needed.

Best of luck navigating periods of change, we are here for you! 

xo

Olivia 

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#wedwellbrides: Lilia

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Since our very own Lilia Karimi, wedwell co-founder is getting married July 14th (so soon!) we were so excited to feature her in our #wedwell brides series. Lilia and her fiance Quinn, have been #relationshipgoals since day 1, and Lilia gives a refreshingly authentic overview of what wedding planning looks like in a balanced, ambitious relationship. 

What has planning your wedding been like?

I had no idea what to expect from wedding planning (I’ve only been to a handful of weddings myself and am the first out of my sibling/cousins to get married). After a few weeks of the blissful engagement began the less pleasant part of figuring out how to plan a wedding. It was hard to navigate where I fit in. Everyone makes it seem like the wedding is all about the bride, so I was super shocked when my parents had a million opinions on everything (as did my fiance!).

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

There’s this new feeling of doing things together as a “family unit”. Before when I made decisions, I really only had to think about myself. Move to Mexico? Sure. Live somewhere with ten other people? No prob.

A few months after we got engaged, I decided to leave my full time job to pursue a startup (oh hey, @wed.well). Before, I would’ve jumped to do this without consulting anyone super seriously. After being engaged, it became more of a conversation, like, “are WE going to do this?”

This trickles down into financial decisions as well, where there is less you vs me - and more, what purchases do we want to make together? How could we be spending differently?

At what point in your relationship did you know you wanted to marry that person?

I knew he was my soulmate before we even started dating. I remember telling my mom, “I’m not sure if I should date him. He’s the type of guy I want to marry - so if I date him now, I’ll never date anyone else!!”. That thought was so terrifying at the time - my college self looked down on the version of just dating one person (lol).

What parts of wedding planning have you and your partner disagreed?

One time I was upset with my family about something related to the wedding. I didn’t want my fiance to know about the issues because I didn’t want him to also get stressed about the wedding, so I didn’t tell him. He only found out when I couldn’t contain my emotions and had a major breakdown at home. This brought up the conversation of how we need to approach difficult things together - not individually. Especially important as we get married and start making “family” decisions.

What's been the most confusing part of getting engaged?

Getting engaged was confusing for me because it felt like I didn’t do anything differently with my life, but everyone started congratulating me and getting so excited as if I had done something so incredible! Haha!

In my head, we’ve been in love for five years now - so what is it about weddings and actually getting engaged that makes everyone want to celebrate? Like helllloooo, we should be celebrating love ALL the time - not just when we commit legally! However, I LOVE any opportunity to celebrate so it was equally thrilling.

 

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#wedwellbrides: Jill

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Today we're chatting with Jill Matthews - the blogger babe behind @suttonandgrove and @jillmatthews! I was first drawn to Jill's page because of her focus on conscious fashion. I love eco-friendly clothes, but never know what brands to shop! Then after finding her page, I became even more interested when I saw her and her husband, @lukematthews have a blog together called Sutton and Grove. Husband-wife duos are always so impressive...I mean, how many couples could really blog together? They showcase such a beautiful way of living, so I was thrilled when we got to chat about her own wedding experience! 

Enjoy!

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?

I did my weddings as cost effective as possible, so that meant a lot of DIY. We spent quite a bit of time researching and creating alternative decoration ideas, venue options and catering. We ended up having a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception with a friend who made all our food from scratch but it definitely was hard putting all the pieces together. 

What was the best part of being engaged?

Engagement was fun mainly because it meant we could start planning our wedding. We were only engaged for four months and put together our wedding together that quickly as well. It made things a little stressful but I was ready to be married so I was happy to do it all. 

What shifted for you since getting married?

I think the understanding of compromise.  We often think compromise is all about giving up who we are and essentially cutting parts of ourselves and passions out so as to work and live together. I would say though that healthy compromise comes with allowing your spouse to be who they are and you being you and finding a way to be cool with each other doing so. This means that maybe you can’t have EVERYTHING as organized the way you would have done things before,  etc but you find a way to work together and be okay with it. That has really helped us in our marriage and was something that had to be worked through for a few years. 

What would you tell other brides-to-be right now?

Be confident in your love choice of your soon to be spouse, and find a way to remember and document that confidence, because that feeling and confidence you have now will be your insurance when things ever get tough in coming years. For me, whenever things are tough and I start to get upset I remember back to my reasons for why I chose Luke and that responsibility of that confidence that I had and it always make me grounded and assured in my choice to still be with him. 

What was the biggest surprise you had while planning your wedding?

There wasn’t actually any surprises during my wedding planning because we did our wedding in my parents back yard (for the reception) and the ceremony in the park next to their house and everything else as far as decorations and details I did myself with my helpers so I had a really good handle on things. The only thing I would say that was a surprise was that it got colder than expected on the day of the wedding and the guests didn’t all plan to bring sweaters/jackets (but that was on them)! 

How have your perceptions on marriage shifted since being married?

I think I’ve realized that it’s a lot more of a companionship than a sexy, exciting, romantic relationship that movies make it out to be. Not that there isn’t aspects of sexiness and romance but I think that at the very core  of marriage, we are each others witnesses to life. We get to walk through life with someone next to us, every day who sees us more than anyone else will and that is something so special despite all the sexiness, hardship and adventure.

Anything else you would like to share? 

My sister got married a couple weeks ago and I shared a quote at the end of my speech that I feel sums up marriage quite well. It’s a quote from the end of the movie Forces of Nature by a bishop from the 16th century and it says; 

"Marriage has less beauty but more safety, than the single life;  it is full of sorrows, and full of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and those burdens are delightful.”

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