Monday, March 31, 2008

She's Done It Again!

I'm addicted. I'm addicted to looking at blog layouts. I can change my blog however many times I want. Why, you ask? Because it's all mine. Don't hate me because my blog's beautiful.

Friday, March 28, 2008

extreme make-over blog edition

Move that Bus!

The camp has new landscaping!
Because Spring has sprung, I have changed my blog's look to a more fitting color scheme.  Gotta keep up with the seasons, I say.
Lincoln has been in St. Louis this entire week spending time with Ben's parents.  The first two days he was gone, I enjoyed the quiet & slower pace of my days.  Now I'm just moping around the house, longing to hear his screams, laughter & funny sentence structure.  I don't think poor Levi knows what has happened this week.  He keeps looking around for his brother, wondering why in the world silence is suddenly upon him.  He's in for a rude (and loud) awakening when Lincoln returns.  Which, BTW, is Sunday.  We're so excited to see him...we'll drive to Paducah to meet Mike & Sherry halfway to pick him up.

I titled my blog "one girl longing to love well" simply because when it comes right down to it, I feel like that is precisely what I am trying to do in my life these days.  It's so easy to say 'I love you' to someone.  At least it is for me.  Shoot, I say it to the Walgreen's check-out girl if she cuts out a coupon & gives it to me so I can save 50 cents.     
I said it to Adam the pharmacist when he recommended the enema I should give to Levi. On the more serious side, I say it to my closest girlfriends upon saying good-bye to them on the phone & I sign off on emails with "I love you" to my mom & sister. In the purest & possibly most important form, I say it to Ben before falling asleep each night, & whisper it in Lincoln & Levi's ears at bedtime. But usually when I say it, it is in a haphazard fashion, maybe in a hurried or somewhat distracted tone, not really feeling the full gravity of the emotion it should convey. I don't want to be like this. When I say something like 'I love you', I want every fiber of my being to truly mean it. Same thing goes with loving well. It's easy to say you love someone or something, but it's quite a different thing entirely to love it well. Who's the person I love the most in this world? My Ben. But who is the person that at times I treat the worst in this world? My Ben. More often than not, my love is messy, self-centered, full of failure, & has a bad attitude colored all over it. No wonder love is talked about so many times in the's downright difficult. Jesus knows this. And what better way to teach us how to love well than to show us a perfect, clean as a whistle, whiter than snow love like the Cross. That's the kind of love I want my life to be about. That's the kind of love I want to show people. Audio Adrenaline always closed out their shows with the song "They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love". I used to think that song was so cheesy, so corny, so youth-groupy. But the more I listened to it, the more I realized how perfect it is. There's simply no better way to put it. The way we love-if it is, in fact, a love for Jesus & to glorify Him-should mark us as Christians. What a privilege. What an honor. And what a challenge.
So in the coming minutes, days, months & most definitely years...I will try to show a love like that. It will probably drift in & out of my life at different times, kind of like a breeze. But if I can love someone with the love of Jesus...fully feeling the weight of that love if only for a little bit or a short time...well then that, my friends, is loving well.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ciao, Chikezie!

Sorry i didn't post anything last night. I was totally not in the mood to blog. So I'll make this a twofer. We all said a teary & emotional goodbye to Chikezie tonight. And when I say teary & emotional, I mean I wasn't bothered at all by his departure. I was surprised that Syesha got in the bottom three because I thought she kicked it last night. I am now calling Kristie Lee Cook by the name of Clever Kristie, simply because she proved herself to be the smartest contestant last night. What better way to get America's votes than to tug at the heartstrings of all the rednecks loving that Lee Greenwood song? They must've come out of the woodwork to vote for her because she didn't even make it to the Bottom three this week. Did y'all know that Lee Greenwood lives right here in Fraklin next door to my friend Bob? Interesting factoid.

BREAKING NEWS!! I have changed my tune, so to speak, about who will win this thing. No longer are you the winner, Miss Carly. My vote goes to David Cook. Carly disappointed last night, while David slammed it out of the park with his Cornell version of Billie Jean. Awesome. He deserved all the accolade he received.

MORE BREAKING NEWS!! Levi slept through the night last night. I realize this has absolutely nada to do with American Idol, but I had to give a shout-out to my little booger for allowing me a full night's sleep last night. Whew. I needed it.

And last but certainly not least, I think the voting tally people are all on drugs. That or the voting counter computers are all rigged. Ramiele should've been gone by Week One. What's up with her sticking around? Her performance last night was hideous, and if she wears one more pair of eighties-skin-tight-what-I-can-only-describe-as-stirrup-pants, I just might throw up. We know you like the eighties & we respect you for it. That does not mean you are stuck there. Make a note of this, Ramiele. The year is 2008. The jig is up.

Ok I'm off to sleepy town. It's 11:11pm! Make a wish. I wish for another good night's sleep.
Billie Jean is not my lover,

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter Weekend!

Wow, we had a terrific weekend with our family & with Ben's parents. On Saturday, we went to Lincoln's school to have a Easter Community Party. There was food, games, egg hunt (of course), inflatables, & all-around jumping & fun. Here are some photos of the aft:

Here he is poking his face out of the inflatable:

Fun times at the playground:

The easter egg hunt:

Family photo:

Here's Levi smiling big:

Yes, his onesie says "Just Hatched":

Momma & Linc:

Mike, Lincoln, & Ben:

Here's my little easter egg:

And last, but certainly not least, here's the granny blowing out her candles for her 30th birthday (with Lincoln taking part too):

It was a wonderful weekend filled with lots of laughter, celebration & joy.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Cookies

I try to spend time each day doing something fun just with Lincoln. I'm still trying to make sure that he feels loved just as much as Levi & gets just as much attention. Whether we play trains together upstairs in the playroom, play GeoTrax down in the basement, or watch Little Bear together, it's a sweet time for just us to have fun, talk, & make some cool memories. For the both of us. So yesterday I decided that we would make Easter cookies. It was a lot of fun, & obviously from these pictures, you can see that he loved tasting the cookie batter. He loved stirring, tasting, & pouring the ingredients in for me.


It's "close-your-eyes" good...

I didn't manage to get pictures of the actual frosting of the cookies, although I did get him tasting them. He really enjoyed them. He thought it was pretty neat that he was eating a bunny rabbit:

I hope you all have a great Easter weekend. Ben's parents are coming in town today to visit us & spend time with the kids. It should be fun. Another fun thing happening Sunday is my 30th birthday. Yikes! I'm dreading actually turning 30, but very excited about my thirties. Does that make sense? I'm officially old. I remember when I was 18, thinking 30 was ancient. And here I am. With Ben's parents being here, Ben & I can actually go out on a date. A full date, including a movie & dinner...or ice cream...or coffee...or just driving around in silence without having to listen to Shrek or Thomas. I'm looking forward to it.
Happy Egg Hunting,

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's Over, Overmyer.

Well, Amanda Overmyer got kicked off tonight. This really bummed us out, to be quite honest. I can't believe Kristy made it through. "Kristy Lee Cook=Sanjaya with Boobs." (**Earlier I had a worse comment than that which was not very blog-worthy)...That is a quote from Ben. I almost fell off the couch when he said that. Seriously...will she ever leave? Each week she's in the bottom 3, and sticks around for one more week so we can all hate her next performance. It's Sanjaya all over again, except we don't have the excitement of what her hair will look like each week. At least with Sanjaya there was the hope of a mohawk or perhaps even a perm. I wasn't a huge fan of Amanda, but I think she was/is way better than Cage Fighter Kristy. And I will not even speak of the decision America made regarding Carly Smithson. I could not believe she was in the bottom 3. America, what happened? I'm so disappointed in you. You better pick up the pace & get in the game next week. Turn up your Whisper 2000s & adjust the volume on your TV set. It's time to get serious about your voting.
I'm out.

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Thank you GiGi!

For Easter, Ben's grandmother, whom Lincoln refers to as "GiGi", sent Lincoln a special Easter card & a $10 bill. Lincoln loves receiving any type of mail, especially that which involves money! He refers to any sort of bill as "twenty dollars" & gets so excited because he can run upstairs & put that bill into his cash register. So yesterday we went to Train Up A Child, a very cool play place that has several Thomas train tables that Lincoln can play with at will until his little heart is content. Besides the train tables, there are wall-to-wall Thomas trains for sale. After much deliberation & vacillation, Lincoln decided upon Toby for his new train. He would use his new, crisp $10 dollar bill to buy Toby. It was one of his best days.
Here he is showing Toby off. Thank you GiGi!

In other news, Levi has started to smile! Here are a couple photos that we captured of the sweet occasion. And who, of course, is he smiling at? His big brother.

Best Buds:


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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

hello again...& it's The Beatles again

Hi friends,
I know it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been too busy giving Levi enemas, wiping his nose, & taking his temperature to do much of anything else. He had a bad cold last week, as well as not being able to poop. So there.

I didn't even mention anything about last week's Idol, but for those of you who don't know, David Hernandez left the building last week. The new American Idol stage was showcased last week, so he even had a pole that he could strip his way on out of. (Tragically, that wasn't mine; it was Joel McHale's from The Soup--who I'm secretly in love with.)

Anyhoo, let's get straight on it. Tonight is again Beatles Night. Is now a bad time to tell y'all that I don't really like The Beatles?

1) Amanda: She does "Back in the USSR" & does pretty well, I think. She seems to be finding her way on stage & finally seems to be having fun up there. Same ole thing for me, not much else to say. I fear the day she does a ballad. Who needs a ballad? Ballads are boring.
2) Kristy Lee Cook: She looks absolutely darling tonight. She performs "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" & I don't think she knew what key it was in. Cute boots, though. The song was snore boooring, to say the very least. Simon was awful to her, saying "you're just not a good performer at all..." How sweet. But wait, what just happened? "I can blow you out of your socks, Simon!" I'm a little embarrassed.
3) David Archuletta: I officially don't like him. He does "The Long and Winding Road" & I'm officially bored out of my mind. If I was to choose between buying his album & eating dirt, well, let's just say I'd be standing in line for the dirt. All of the judges disagreed with me, but I'm sticking to my guns. I'm convinced he can only do ballads.
4) Michael Jons: I love him in a shirt & tie. This cutie does "A Day in the Life" & does OK. He hit a weird note at the beginning. I'm not sure if I don't like his performance, or if I just don't like the song. Let's be honest, it could all go back to the fact that I don't like The Beatles. Randy says it wasn't one of his good ones, Paula blamed it on the monitors, & Simon says it was a mess. I'm going to agree with that mess.
5) Brooke: She does "Here Comes the Sun" & I'm reminded of "Bee Movie" that I saw for the first time this weekend. That Jerry Seinfeld is one funny bee. She does a little dance & lets out a whoop & holler, which I think is a huge mistake. She seems so cheesy during this one, trying to dance & laugh throughout it. Simon thought the performance was terrible. Ouch.
6) David Cook: He does "Daytripper" & does the White Snake version. He sounds phenomenal. I have a crush on David this week. I think his performance kicked ass. Paula loved it. Randy didn't think it was his best performance. Simon thought David was smug throughout the entire thing, thinking it was predictable. Wha???!!! I think David is a serious rock star.
7) Carly Smithson: This angel sings "Blackbird" & it's so good. She sure did wail at the end & it sounded great. I loved the arrangement. I think we're all in agreement that she can sing anyone in this competition out of the water. Randy thought it was very nice, Paula thought she was fantastic, & Simon thought it was indulgent. Cripes, Simon! Quit it.
8) Jason: Why would he choose this song? He does "Michelle" & sounds tragic. He hits wrong notes all over the place & wears way-too-tight jeans. Seriously, where was the stylist on that one? She should lose her job over tonight's debacle. Randy thought it was subdued & "just alright", Paula thought he was charming but disconnected, & Polka-style (which was so so true, Wise Paula), & Simon thought he was very charming. He also said Jason was goofy. Goofy indeed.
9) Syesha: Her boobies are all over the place tonight, hoping to get through this week with those. She chooses to sing "Yesterday", possibly the most popular song in history. Ever. Why, people, why is she doing this song? She does an acoustic, sort of unplugged version & sounds good, but puts way too many runs in it. The dress totally redeems her performance though, because that is an amazing piece of clothing. Randy thought it was a very good performance, Paula thinks she let herself be vulnerable, & Simon thought it was the best song choice of the night. Way to go Syesha.
10) Jacuzzi: He does "I've Just Seen a Face" & tries out the harmonica for the first time. His voice sounds like's like a chord with one voice. Then things change & we move to the backwoods with o brother where art thou. The arrangement was very discombobulated & confusing...I didn't really get it. Paula loved it & Simon thought the harmonica was atrocious, turning it into a bad country song.
11) Ramiele: She sings "I Should've Known Better" & tries to do the upbeat thing this week. I knew from the first note that this would be a disaster. That & the awful fedora hat. Oh, she sounds so bad y'all. I don't think I can get past it. She will surely be the one to go this week.

Results tomorrow night. Until then,

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

praying for strangers

I wanted to post some information regarding a family whom I have never met. We are essentially strangers. They live an ocean away from me, but I feel connected to them nevertheless, because I daily read their blog. Yesterday they lost their 9 week old son to a neural tube defect & they are obviously in the trenches. I urge you to read their story. They posted that their boy, Joshua, was "finally promoted" yesterday to Heaven. What a sweet & true way of putting it. If you feel so inclined, be praying for this family in their grief.


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Friday, March 7, 2008

a bundle of love

No, there is no product in his hair. I promise. It just sticks up that way.
Sunny Sunday,

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Danielle says good-bye and we have a new playroom!

I was a bit shocked by Asia's departure, but not bummed. I think we all expected to see Luke Manard go, but I was not expecting to see Danny get voted off the island. I thought he was going to stick around for another couple rounds. But hey, I'm not complaining. When he performed his good-bye song (Tainted Love), he did things with his hips that I would love to soon forget. And the hips don't lie. He was boo-hooing like a girl...wait...I'm he a girl?...
The other girl to go was Kady Malloy. I think she totally knew she was a goner; she didn't look surprised at all. I'm OK with everyone who got cut, just in case you cared.

Onto more pressing news, our new playroom is finally finished! When we moved in to our new house in August 07, it was an unfinished room upstairs. We have been working on it since about 2 weeks after we moved in. And we finally finished! And when I say WE, I'm using that term loosely. So loosely, in fact, that it's completely false. Ben did everything. Every sheet of drywall, every brush of paint & every piece of trim was put up by Ben. For those of you who don't know, I live with the handiest man around. Dude can fix anything you give him. He could give MacGyver & Schneider a run for their money. So it was not a shock to see Ben finish the playroom in very little time.
It's got tons of room for Lincoln to play in, & my favorite thing about it is that we can showcase Lincoln's artwork on the wall, due to the magic of magnetic paint. Have you ever heard of such a thing? I fell in love with the idea, so we tried it. What a cool invention. On the opposite wall, we showcased pictures of Nashville historical/popular places. Here are some more pictures of the finished product. What do you think?

I'll be posting pictures of my Spitting-Up Machine soon. I have no idea what's going on with Levi, but man, our conversations sort of go like this:

Me: "OK, let's get ready to leave the house..."
Levi: "Hhmmm, I can tell Mom is in a hurry...let me get cookin' on something good here..."
Me: "We're ready!...Let's get you in your car seat."
Levi: "Here I go!" (major spit-up/throw-up ensues)
Me: "Oh great....let's go upstairs & change your clothes."
Levi: "Yea! Another onesie to ruin!"
Me: "OK, you're all clean now, let's get back in your car seat."
Levi: "Sure, that sounds great, but first let me do this..." (another spit-up/throw-up)
Me: "All over me this time! Let me go change my clothes."
Levi: "Sure, you do what you gotta do, I'm just gonna hang here & do my thing."

After that happens 2 or 3 times, a good 20-30 minutes has passed & Levi has spit up what looks to be his entire feeding. What's a girl to do? I have no clue. For all you moms reading, any advice would be well-appreciated & happily received.
I know this post has some random things, but hey-I've been up since 5:00am. Bear with me.
Happy Friday,

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

It's 80's Night, Oh What a Night...TMTH

Come on Girls! Let's see how this goes:
BTW, I think Paula's the only one who got the memo to dress like the 80's tonight.

1) Asia: First off, what in the name of all things under Heaven is she wearing? Those pants are from the Devil himself. She does Whitney's "Wanna Dance With Somebody" & sounds pretty darn good, although as Ben so wisely pointed out, "She sounds good, but the arrangement is exactly the same as it was 20 years ago." Such truth, B. Of course Randy has to start the judging off by saying that he recorded that song with Whitney. Ugh, does Randy think this show exists simply to stroke his ego? I'm over his name-dropping.
2) Kady Malloy: Ben strikes again: "Why would you sing whole notes when you can't even hold a note?" I honestly don't know if she ever hit a right note. Was she in three different keys? She looks really cute tonight though; I always love her jewelry. Paula's officially drunk tonight y'all because she said that was Kady's best performance. WHA???? Simon got no emotion out of her performance. And whatever Simons says goes. Simon says.
INTERRUPTION: Poor Ryan getting hissed at by Simon was awfully funny. Simon's in a foul mood tonight! It certainly is gonna be a fun night.
3) Amanda: Most importantly, your hair has changed from that dreadful 'do last week. Victory there. She does "I Hate Myself for Lovin' You" & sounds as usual as she always does. I'm gonna be honest here...I can only take about 2 songs of sweet Amanda. Then I'm done with her Joplin voice. She totally rocked it though, & her performance was really great tonight. Simon thought it was fantastic! He said she nailed it & it was the perfect song choice for her. You'd think she would be so elated to get his praises...instead, she looks like she couldn't care less. Ben says, "I don't think she wants to be there anymore." I think she wants to run right back to her Harley.
4) Carly Smithson-My-Favorite-Girl: She does "I Drove All Night" & kicked the high notes. So good!! And her hair looks better when it has some curl in it, rather than iron straight. Everyone has chosen to wear the worst 80's pants ever tonight...high-waisted grossness that make everyone's thighs & hips look as big as the universe. I'll be so sad if that comes back in style.
5) Kristy Lee Cook: This girl is Ben's fave. All because she sold her horse to get on AI. He thought that was a sweet sad story. He's such a sucker. And then she goes & does his favorite Journey song. Kristy would do well in her small horse town, although I don't think she's gonna cut it in Hollywood. I did not like it that much. Dawg loved it, Paula thought it could be a hit, & Simon thinks she's forgettable. I'm agreeing with the tight-fitted-black-shirt Brit.
6) Ramiele: She attempts Phil Collins "Take a Look at Me Now" & puts way too many tricks in it. She's very pitchy & is trying way too hard. Dawg didn't care for it & says to "come on wid it" next time, Paula says she has an "innocent face & a lot of texture to her voice" (snore), & Simon thought it was old-fashioned. I think she may be on her way out.
7) Brooke: I like her more & more every week. I think I love her voice because it sounds like she has a cold & is constantly losing her voice. I like voices like that. She does an acoustic version of "Love is a Battlefield" & sounds great. I totally dug her performance in every way. Simon has nothing but good things to say about her performance. I think Simon may be in love with sweet Brooke. It all goes back to her purity with never having seen a Rated R movie. Let's get Ben's take on Brooke: He think she's very classy & a step above the rest.
8) Sayesha: She does a Whitney ditty & wears some really cute shorts. She looks great & sounds good too. Obviously the judges were short on time as their comments clearly suggest: "Good", "good" & "good." How helpful. I think she'll stay for next week.

All in all, I thought it was a great night for the girls. I believe these are the ones truckin' on home:
--Kristy or Kady (it's a toss-up)
Until tomorrow night,

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Most Embarrassing Moment Night

Tonight I am super exhausted & going on very little sleep. It was rainy & cold today, so Lincoln was cooped up all day long. Oh, we were about to go crazy here at the house. So tonight's summary will be quick & painless...or painful, depending on the performances. Let's get set:

1) Luke Menard: He says his most embarrassing moment was when his older sister dressed him up as a ballerina. He can officially change that most embarrassing moment to tonight's performance. That was abyssmal. He will be one of the two to go. We can only hope.
2) David Archuletta: He sings a Phil Collins song, a song that I absolutely love. My 5th grade choir class did that song at our first concert. It's totally a 'moment in time' song for me. And he plays the piano too...which doesn't sound too bad. He actually does pretty well. Thank God his mommy didn't jump up on stage & finish the song for him. Paula says, "In your imperfections, you're still perfect." Once again, she wows us all with her insight.
3) Danny: Tainted love. I hated every piece of his performance, but loved the fact that he talks in text messaging. TMTH.
4) David Hernandez: After today's breaking news of him being a nude dancer for 3 years, I can't really watch him without kinda feeling sick. I thought he sounded good, but it's just too weird now. We've crossed a line & it's impossible to go back.
5) Michael Johns: Loved it.
6) David Cook: I am fairly certain I called this guy "Jason" last week...hmmm, obviously not so memorable. But this week I loved his performance! What an amazing arrangement. Kudos to Mr. Cook.
7) Jason-Dreds: I really didn't like his performance at all. But the judges loved it...I can't listen to that song without hearing Jeff Buckley's version...and he had no business attempting it.
8) Chikezie: Is this a joke?

The 2 to say bye-bye:

Talk to ya.

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some video of the birthday boy...

Here is a little video of Lincoln at his birthday party. Yes, I realize it's 7 minutes long...we are those parents.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Lincoln!

Yesterday was Lincoln's 3rd birthday & we had a party at Jump!Zone Party Center in the afternoon. He had about 6 or 7 of his friends there, & it was a couple hours filled with jumping, laughter, celebration, friends, & lots of cake. Lincoln had a ball, & was so excited to sing "Happy Birthday", blow out "the fire" candle, & open his presents. Here are a lot (and I do mean a lot) of pictures from our day yesterday. Enjoy our boy's smile.

Since it was so beautiful outside, we played with Lincoln out in our frontyard & cul-de-sac with sidewalk chalk & bubbles in the morning:

Arriving at Jump!Zone in our private party room. Lincoln loved that the balloons were for him & that he got to wear a birthday hat. Have I mentioned how much he ADORES birthday parties?

Lincoln & sweet Gabby, his best bud from school:

Here he is with his friend Maren, waiting for his cake:

The Lightning McQueen cake! He loved it & thought the ENTIRE cake was his own piece. We had to keep telling him that he had his own individual piece of cake, but it did no good:

Struggling to keep the birthday hat on while he eats. You can't eat cake without the hat!

Whenever Lincoln tastes something that he likes, he immediately closes his eyes & says, "Oh, yummy!" Clearly, this is a "yummy" moment:

Here's darling Sydney enjoying cake & ice cream...she had her very first juice box experience at the party! She loved it!

Here are Lincoln's friends from school--Taylor, Gabby & Logan:

Sydney & her dad, Andy:

Opening presents. This is the moment when I quickly remembered that this time is the most important time of a birthday party to the kids. They were mesmerized:

Lincoln & Taylor hugging good-bye:

And to cap off the afternoon, here's Lincoln waving a flag in our garage, smiling & laughing. I promise, we do put pants on our son...he just happened to be changing clothes & ran out of the back door...neither one of us could catch him in time. Before we knew it, he was in the driveway waving that flag. He had no idea we were watching him. Wanna know what he was singing to himself? Take a wild guess..."Happy Birthday to Lincoln"...

Happy Birthday baby.

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