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Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in Family Fun, Fashion | 4 comments

The Things We Do for Our Babies…

Hey, friends! In just a few hours, we are hitting the road to go make all of Atlas’ dreams come true. Or at least 1 of his dreams.

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(Andi Rose is obviously upset that we aren’t hitting the road to make all of her dreams come true. Andi Rose, your day will come sweetie…)

We are going to ride the Polar Express! Ya’ll – this trip has been an ordeal. Let me give you the {not-so} short story: Atlas is obsessed (OB.SESSED) with the Polar Express. It is, without a doubt, his favorite movie of all time. When we aren’t watching the Polar Express movie, we are singing the songs from the soundtrack. And this isn’t reserved for the month of December. Oh, no. We were jamming out to the Polar Express in July. At night when I ask Atlas what he’s going to dream about, he says the Polar Express. SO, when I asked him what he wanted for Christmas can you guess what he said?

If you guessed ‘a ride on the Polar Express’ then you would be correct.

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So, after quite a bit of research I found a train station about 3 hours from our house that had a Polar Express ride that seemed legit and the time frame was on point for Andi Rose (Some of the train rides were super long, which wasn’t realistic for us due to Andi’s short attention span). We got our neighbors in on the fun and decided we would make a weekend trip out of it and all go ride the Polar Express together.

Unfortunately, every other family this side of the Mississippi planned to do the same because when we went to buy our tickets 2 weeks ago they were completely booked. Not a single seat left on that dang train. I was devastated and also sort of panicked because that is the one thing Atlas has been talking about doing for Christmas.

I lost sleep over it, ya’ll. Thankfully, Dave totally came through for us and saved the day. He got us tickets for today (because who rides the Polar Express on a Monday?!) and took off work to go with us. We are literally driving there today and driving back home as soon as its over so we are probably in for a late night, but gosh darn-it! My sweet boy is riding the Polar Express today!

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The things we do for our babies, right? I sure hope this train ride is magical for him. I also sure hope the sight of Santa Clause on the train doesn’t cause him to have one of those meltdowns where people say, “Oh, you’ll laugh about that one day.” (He’s still unsure about ole’ St Nick.)

Atlas is at such a fun age and he makes our home such a bright place to be. I love him to pieces. Watching him get excited over something is the best and I am praying I get to see that sweet wonder and excitement in his eyes tonight on that train.

I’m not sure if Andi Rose will be diggin’ the Polar Express like Atlas, but she loves music so I’m crossing my fingers she will be happy to just dance her little heart out. She’s a real trooper and such a good little sister to Atlas.

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So that’s what’s up in our world today. I’ll be sure to recap our trip to the North Pole on the blog. 😉

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Outfit details: Similar vest // button up shirt (only $25)// similar navy pants (mine are old)// hunter boots 

Atlas & Andi’s vests are both by Janie & Jack. Andi’s boots are mini Melissa’s, but sold out.

Reindeer wall mount // Red doormat 

Oh, and the moral of today’s story is this: Book your Polar Express tickets in April if you want to ride it on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday in December. 🚂

 

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Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Fashion, Motherhood | 2 comments

Choosing Compassion in the Midst of Interruptions

Every day when I put my babies down for their nap, I typically go into crazy-over-drive-work-mode. It is my hour (sometimes 2!!) to get as much done as possible. Prepping dinner, folding laundry, mopping the floors, typing up blog posts, editing photos, responding to e-mails…It is my time to do all the things that I usually don’t attempt doing while my children are awake. And sometimes it is my time to just sit and chill the heck out for a minute.

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So, you can probably imagine how annoyed I get when 1 of my children (typically Atlas) refuses to nap and derails my plans. Some days I can totally roll with it, but other days I die a little on the inside when I hear him walking down the stairs and asking, “Hey, Mom! What are you doing? I’m not tired. Can I ride my bike? What are you eating? Can I have a bite? Is Andi Rose awake? Can I go look in her room?”

It’s hard. The other night at dinner, I think my family was half way through with their meals before I took the first bite of mine because every time I went to sit down, someone needed something. I was running back and forth from the kitchen to the table until finally I was all, “GUYS! Mommy is tired! Can I please just sit for the duration of this meal?” Then Andi Rose answered me by throwing her spoon on the ground. *Message received* No rest for the weary.

Last week while I was reading about Jesus miraculously feeding over 5,000 people in John 6, something in that story jumped right off the pages of my Bible and into my heart. In the gospels of Matthew and Mark, we learn that just before Jesus performed this miracle, He was actually trying to escape the crowds that had been following Him because He wanted to be alone and rest. Jesus was exhausted. He had been surrounded by swarms of people – and the people were all begging Him to heal their illnesses and answer their endless questions and the more He did for them, the more they wanted from Him and with every lesson He taught them, it seemed as though many of them were still missing the point. I mean, if that doesn’t sound like a day in the life of a mother, I don’t know what does.

I was initially struck by the fact that Jesus needed rest – so badly, that he was actually going to pretty great lengths to seek it out. The Bible says He withdrew by a boat to a remote place to be alone. I can’t count how many times I have said, “I JUST NEED A MINUTE TO MYSELF!” Jesus also needed a quiet minute to Himself every once in a while. I find so much comfort in that – Knowing that my God can relate to me. But in Mark 14, we learn that even in His exhaustion, Jesus didn’t lose sight of his purpose.

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Crowds of people had followed Jesus when they saw him escaping to a remote place by boat. How often do my children do this? I joke to Dave that the quickest way to get my kids’ attention is to sit down and get comfortable or to get in the shower. It is like in that moment they need me more than EVER! It is maddening, so I can’t help but think that this situation was also a bit unnerving for Jesus.

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But the Bible says Jesus felt compassion for the crowds who had followed him. (And I think it is also worth mentioning, that Jesus had a hurting heart during all of this. He was mourning the death of John – one of his dearest friends.) In the midst of his own sadness and fatigue, he still felt compassion for those who so desperately needed him. Jesus took time that day – time that he had set aside for himself – to heal the sick, feed the hungry and teach hurting and curious hearts about God.

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Reading about the compassion Jesus had in his tired moment, convicted me, encouraged me and challenged me. Ever since I read that, I just keep praying that what my kids grow up seeing is a mom who is continually moved with compassion – for them and for others. I’m praying that when my plans get interrupted, I can quickly regroup so that my focus remains on my purpose – and my purpose isn’t to have a clean house or even a great blog right now – my purpose is to serve and lead my children.

I think it is important to note that Jesus did eventually circle back around to His own need for solitude and escape to pray. He recognized His need for rest, prayer and time alone with His Father, which tells me there is nothing wrong with seeking out time to ourselves to get rejuvenated. However, the next time I seek solitude or carve out time for myself and instead am met with an interruption, I’m choosing to view the situation, not as a setback, but as a signal from God that He has work for me to do (which I know, is so much easier said than done).

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I’m sure most moms can agree that we go through life feeling constantly interrupted – we rarely finish a meal, a chore, a thought or a sentence – but what if we view those interruptions as opportunities for Christ to work through us and in us? How different would our responses be to those interruptions? What if we paused and allowed compassion to move us and drive our actions? How different would the outcome be?

And on a similar note, when my kids interrupt my plans I also remind myself that one day I’ll be the one interrupting them. They will be grown with lives all their own and I’ll be old and all but forgotten, and I’ll call them telling them they need to come pick me up right away because I’ve got an emergency. And then when they arrive at my door, I’ll be dressed in my fur coat wearing my bright red lipstick with my walker in hand telling them that I’m all ready for a day at Nordstrom’s and then on the ride there I will tell them about all the times I dropped everything because they had an ’emergency.’ (I’m seriously laughing out loud picturing this scenario as I type it – Poor Atlas and Andi Rose – they will have to deal with Old Lady Ashley one day and I suspect Old Lady Ashley will be a real handful.)

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Cozy Sweater // White Tank (closet staple) // Leggings // Holiday Mug

And on that note, this post is being interrupted by the sound of tiny feet running down the stairs to find me….

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Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in Fashion, Girly Things, Sprinkles | 6 comments

Friday Favorites

Hello and happy Friday, friends! After being out of town the last 2 weekends, I’m looking forward to being home this weekend with no plans. I think I may need to make a plan though to take down our Halloween decorations because I’m in full blown Christmas mode, but then I’m like, “Oh man, that pumpkin over there is kind of throwing me off.” I don’t think we will be busting out our Christmas decor this weekend, but I at least want the jack-o-lanterns gone.

I’m excited to share some Friday Favorites today. In light of all the news (read: negativity) that has been circulating around the election, I think we all need to stop and focus on some things that make us smile! So I’m doing my part today to spread some smiles and sharing some things that I’ve been loving lately! Please play along in the comments below and tell me some of your favorite things lately!

Target Sweater 

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Ya’ll! This sweater is the best thang since sliced bread. It is comfy, affordable and adorable! I bought this sweater in 2 different patterns, but the leopard is (obviously) my favorite. It’s such an easy piece to style and it can be worn so many different ways (with white pants, with jeans, with a pencil skirt, layered with a button up underneath, etc). I’m obsessed. OBSESSED, I tell you! Target sweaters for the win!

P.S. I know that mirror is dirty. Don’t judge me.

Flipz Chocolate Mint Pretzles

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I can’t stop eating these. Chocolate covered pretzels are one of my favorite snacks of all time and around the holidays I’m a sucker for anything mint flavored. When I saw these at Publix, I almost passed them up because I felt like it was still too early in the holiday season to cave and buy them, but then I thought, “I’m not guaranteed tomorrow. I should buy these now.”

P.S. If you are a Jacksonville, Fl reader – Peterbrooke’s chocolate covered pretzels are my favorite chocolate covered pretzels in the the world. If you haven’t tried those, try them this weekend.

Meyers Dish Soap in Mum Scent 

Meyers Mum Scent

I bought this on a whim a few weeks ago at Target and OH.Mah.Gosh! It is the best scent ever. When I saw it, I stopped and picked it up and asked Dave, “What does a mum smell like?” Dave said he didn’t know so I opened the lid and smelled it. Turns out a mum smells like Heaven. This is my favorite dish soap I’ve ever used based solely on the smell. I like the floral smell so much, I want the full arsenal of cleaning supplies in the mum scent.

SFH Pure Whey Protein Powder

Pure Protein Powder

We recently switched over to using this protein powder and I’ve been loving it. I mix it with almond milk after my run in the morning and I love the way it taste. I actually look forward to it every morning when I wake up. I also mix it in smoothies and I’ve used it to bake and the chocolate flavor is on point. If you’re in the market for a protein powder, I recommend this one. I even give it to Atlas (I mix it with his milk) and he loves it.

Maddio’s Greek Salad

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This one is for all my local readers! If you have a Maddio’s Pizza joint in your area, go try the Greek Salad. I’ve been craving this salad every day since the first time I tried it. The kids and I got to meet up with Dave for lunch on Thursday and when Dave asked where I wanted to go I quickly blurted out “Maddios!” This salad is a new favorite for me! Hooray for yummy food and middle of the week lunch dates with my man!

The “It” Scarf 

Free People Scarf

I’m pretty sure this Free People scarf is thee accessory to have for the winter months. It is so soft and it feels like being wrapped up in a warm blanket. I have the ‘sand’ color and it is so beautiful (seriously matches all the things) and I’ve got my eye on the army green color. I think that green is so so gorgeous. The fringe on it adds a fun boho vibe and even though the price for the scarf is a bit steep (in my opinion), it is worth it if you love a good scarf. During the winters in NYC, I wore a scarf every.single.day. I feel like in the cold months, accessorizing is difficult because you’re all bundled up, so things like scarves/beanies/gloves replace jewelry that gets easily hidden by all the layers.

I also think this scarf would make for a great Christmas gift! Speaking of gift giving – I’m brainstorming some gift guides to put together for the blog! If you’re interested in this, leave a comment below letting me know what kind of gift guide you would enjoy (I.e gifts under $50, gifts for the fitness freak, gifts for the fashionista, gifts for the guys, etc). 🎁🎁🎁

Your turn! Tell me what you’re loving lately! Any must-try products/food you want to share? When is your Christmas tree going up? Is it already up? (If it is then we should totally be friends. Unless it is still up from last year…then maybe not…)

I hope you have a great weekend with the people you love the most! Thanks for reading CnC this week. 🙂

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Posted by on Nov 3, 2016 in Family Fun, Fashion, Trips | 0 comments

Family Trip to North Carolina, Part 2

Hello and happy Thursday to you! I’m coming at ya today with one more recap of our quick weekend getaway to Bear Lake Reserve in North Carolina.

How flippin’ gorgeous are these woods? GAH! I still can’t get over it. Autumn makes my heart sing.

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On Sunday morning we woke up, got dressed in our coziest fall clothes and headed out to explore the area around our cabin. We let Atlas & Andi Rose lead the way (and who am I kidding…they always lead the way and I have no real say so in the matter because Hello! I’m OUTNUMBERED). Dave & I followed them through the stunning leaf-covered trails, stopping several times to let them play in the leaves.

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Both kids thought is was so hilarious when I showed them how to throw the leaves up in the air. They were cracking up and of course, when kids laugh you can’t help but just laugh with them. My children love stomping on anything from puddles to leaves, so they were in Heaven with so many leaves to stomp on.

Watching my kids run and play together that morning was refreshing for my soul. They had no toys and they were fully entertained by each other and nature. It was just one of those simple moments in life that I wanted to savor.

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But then it started to get hot and I was all, “Okay! I’m hot and now I’m over this so let’s go change into summer clothes before I freak the heck out because I’m starting to sweat.” #Reallife

*Rabbit trail: Does anybody else out there get super cranky when they get over-heated? When I’m out with the kids and I start to sweat the party is over (OV-AH). Obviously this isn’t the case if I’m outside in gym clothes prepared to play with them, but if we are out running errands or something & I start to feel unexpected sweat beads on my neck I go into crazy-mom-mode.

Anyways, since the chilly weather didn’t last too long we changed into t-shirts, loaded up the car and headed into Highlands for lunch. We ate outside since we had Ob & Marley with us and it ended up being super breezy so then we all got cold again. Fickle fall weather. After lunch we walked around Highlands for a quick minute, but Andi Rose was not having it and I started to get hot again (I think my body temperature was having a hard time regulating since I was fighting a cold) so we ended up piling back into the car and heading to Dry Falls for one last mini-adventure before driving home.

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Dry Falls is such a cool attraction located just 10 minutes away from downtown Highlands. You can actually walk under the waterfall, which our kids thought was beyond cool. We let the kids play under the waterfall for a bit, but then Atlas had a meltdown because we wouldn’t let him ‘slide down the waterfall into the pool.’ I know – we are jerks (insert the eye-rolling emoji here). I tried to explain to him that you don’t ‘slide down waterfalls’ and that it didn’t land in a pool, but in a rapid-like-river. He wasn’t buying it. So, we took that as our queue to leave and made the drive back home (& Atlas fell asleep within 10 minutes of being in the car).

The drive home was even prettier than the drive up (we came home a different way) and if I wouldn’t have been on the verge of death by car-sickness I would have documented it.

And that sums up our weekend in North Carolina! If you want to plan a trip to the mountains on the East Coast, I can’t recommend Highlands/Cashiers/Bear Lake Reserve enough! Our little family loves the area so so much and we are already planning our next trip back. We have plans to hit up the mountains again in December, but this time I think our trip will take us to a different spot to do something extra special for Christmas! 🙂 I love traveling with these cuties…

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And if you want outfit details, they are linked below. I’m drawn to neutrals so this sweater caught my eye and it has a criss cross detailing on the front that sealed the deal for me. It comes in a few colors and I want it in another color now. My only complaint is that I wish it was a smidge longer in the front (Spellcheck is telling me ‘smidge’ is not a word – pppsshhh… I am totally overriding that and making it a word right now).

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My Sweater (currently on sale for less than $50, but the sale ends tonight)// White Jeans // Similar Scarf  (mine is old and I can’t remember for the life of me where I got it) // Similar Booties (mine are old)

On Andi Rose: Pink Dress is Burberry via E-bay // Coat // Plaid Dress is by Gap, but I can’t find it online so I’m linking a similar one here

On Atlas: Long Sleeve Polo by the Bailey Boys // Scarf  (Um, on Nordi’s website they have this listed as a girl’s snood. I totally picked this out for my son. And I assumed Andi Rose could wear it too…and I also have worn it because it fits me. Dave would die if he knew I put our son in a girl’s snood though. I’m giggling as I type this.)// Similar Plaid Shirt

And now to pack up for our trip to Savannah! 2 more days until race day! We’ve officially entered my favorite part of half marathon training: carb loading. Eating a cupcake as I type this…

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Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Baby Andi, Fashion, Girly Things | 2 comments

Preppy in Polka Dots

Atlas has been fighting his nap every single day this week. Our week is flying by, but I’m struggling to keep up with some things since I’m spending a good portion of nap time putting Atlas back in his bed. Right about the time he finally gives in and falls asleep, Andi Rose is waking up from her nap, so he doesn’t nap that long, which is good and bad. It’s good because by then, it is later in the day so I don’t want him napping long because it messes up his nighttime sleep. It is bad because it makes him a cranky bear the rest of the evening though. He is really such a great kid and I feel fortunate that in a lot of ways he is so incredibly ‘easy’ lately, but he goes through these spurts where he gets super stubborn and as a result it can feel like some days are just a series of battles. Luckily, that isn’t our norm and I’m pretty sure his stubborn streaks are age-related and he’s just testing his limits, which I have to remind myself daily is completely healthy. Anyways, his thing this week is getting out of his bed 56 times at nap time and bed time. Just keeping it real.

In other news, my matching obsession with Andi Rose is still going strong.

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I fell in love with this polka dot sweater on Boden’s website the minute I saw it and then when I saw this dress at Baby Gap for Andi Rose, I just knew it was meant to be.

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The sweaters on Boden’s website right now are so adorable. If you haven’t shopped there, I recommend checking them out. There shipping is super fast too, which is great. I totally fell in love with this sweater online, but my love was solidified when it arrived and I tried it on. It is so ridiculously comfortable! It’s the perfect mom sweatshirt and I absolutely love that I feel like I’m wearing a sweatshirt, but I still can look a little preppy and put together.

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Polka Dot Sweater // White Pants // Pink Hunter Boots //

On Andi Rose: Dress is Baby Gap, but I can’t find it online (similar here & here) // Red Boots // Pink Bow by Little Lady Shop

Other Boden Sweaters that I think are super cute are linked here, here & here! And check out their kid’s clothes too, if you’re a mama! Gah! Seriously – SO cute!

And on that note, I’m off to read books with Atlas. He isn’t napping today so I’m just rolling with it. His punishment for not napping is that he can’t play right now – he has to sit and read books with me. *Insert evil laugh here* #momster

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Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in Fashion, Girly Things | 0 comments

Girls in Green

The older Andi Rose gets, the more fun I have dressing her up.

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I absolutely love when we match and it brings back all these great memories for me of when I used to try and match my American Girl doll (I had the Samantha doll).

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I usually plan my outfits to church around what Andi Rose is wearing. It’s starting to become like a sickness I have. I’m like, “Oh, Andi Rose is wearing green today so I need to go find something green to wear.” She’s going to hate me when she’s a teenager, isn’t she?

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Anyways, I’m all about a good preppy look (#fallprep) that includes a few layers and ’tis the season for layering! It is chilly in the mornings, hot as blue blazes in the afternoons and cool again at night, so having layers to put on and then shed is kind of key right now. By the time we took these photos, I was actually too hot (that’s why Andi Rose wasn’t in a sweater so calm down, people), but in the morning when it was 55 degrees this outfit was on point.

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I went to a private school growing up and we had to wear uniforms and the only way I could make my uniform ‘unique’ was to dress it up with layers so I think I became a pro at layering during my middle school and high school years. I had to wear button up shirts and khaki or navy skirts (and our skirts had to be below our knee – #Godblessit), but I could wear a sweater over my button-up shirt so that was like the cool way to ‘dress up’ my uniform. Well, that and headbands and belts. Still to this day, every time I put on a button-up shirt I think of my school days.

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twinning

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Oh, and don’t worry! Atlas doesn’t get left out of the matching fun. Atlas & Dave have several matching Under Armour polo shirts and those 2 end up matching quite a bit. It is so adorable and it melts my heart!

If you like this outfit and want to recreate it then check out these links…

Green Sweater (I got mine in a Target store and couldn’t find the exact sweater online, so I linked a similar one – they are currently buy 1, get 1 50% off so when I got the green one above, I also got this one) // Plaid Button -Up is super old, but there’s similar ones herehere & here // Similar White Denim – the distressed version is sold out, so I linked the non-ripped version (LOVE James Jeans, btw) // Shoes // Handbag in the color ‘luggage’ (I want the red color for Christmas – it is SO perfect for the holidays)

On Andi Rose // Burberry Dress (we actually got this on Ebay because you can find designer clothes on there for kids for so much cheaper – I found her exact dress on Ebay again and I linked it, but it is a size 9 months – here it is in yellow in a 3T – it retails for somewhere around $200, so it’s a freaking steal on Ebay) // Bow by Little Lady Shop (My faves)

P.S. If you love the layered look, but don’t like the fuss of wearing 2 pieces then definitely check out this sweater from Goodnight Macaroon. I’ve ordered several pieces from Goodnight Macaroon over the last year or so and I’ve loved every single item.

Happy Hump Day, friends! Half-way through the work week! YAY!

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