Moving On and Moving Out

4.16.2014

© Fancy That

One week from tomorrow, I will have taken my final exam. One week from tomorrow, the last six years of my life will finally be over, and I will have earned my diploma. Next Thursday marks the end of one part of my life and the beginning of a brand new adventure, and I can’t wait to see what life has in store. This is all sort of surreal, because all I’ve ever known, really, is school. I’ve always had something to study for, or some presentation to prepare. I’ve consistently found myself crying over exams that I could have done better on and wondering whether this college journey would ever end. And here it is. The end.

For now, at least. Someday, I might get ambitious and go back for my master’s, but for the moment, I’m proud just to have my bachelor’s and to move on to something that isn’t related to the grading system. Now the scary part begins, and I’m already questioning, ‘What the hell do I do now?’ I’m not worried, though, because I know I’ll figure it out.

The most exciting part about figuring it out is that I’ll have my husband with me. For the first time in 3 1/2 years of marriage and 4 years of being together, we won’t have 12 hours and 750 miles (sometimes more than that) separating us. I’m looking forward to putting together a solid life for us, without having to fall asleep in separate beds every night.

At the same time that all of this excitement is bubbling up inside of me, my heart is also breaking that I have to leave behind everyone else I love. Well, “behind,” I suppose, isn’t the best word, because that will never happen, but it will undoubtedly be tough not having my family and friends so close. I sort of feel like I’m going to miss out, especially when it comes to all of my cousins, who are growing more and more every day. Thank goodness for Skype, texting, and the Internet. With technology, I don’t have to totally miss everything.

Overall, I’m just really excited. I’m in the middle of preparing for a final paper, exam, and presentation, and I have a ton of packing left to do, but Caleb will be here soon, and we’ll all (meaning Capone, too) be together, and it will be okay. The struggles and challenges have been worth it, and we are finally here. I am so thankful, every day, for all of the supportive, kind people in my life. Each of you have given me something so special, and I will never be able to repay you.

xoxoxo
Ash

Taking Stock (3)

3.20.2014

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It’s been a few months since I’ve tackled one of these Taking Stock posts. I love them, because they allow me to get straight to the point about what’s going on in my life. And they’re super fun. You can catch up on my previous Taking Stock posts here and here.

Making: An effort to write more. Although, I’m forever making an effort to write more, so this isn’t really that groundbreaking. Oh, well.
Cooking: Tacos!
Drinking : Water, tea, and wine. Lots of wine.
Reading: Here We Are Now by Charles R. Cross. I have been anxiously awaiting this book’s release. I read a previous work of his, a biography about Kurt Cobain, when I was a teenager and got so excited when I saw that he was releasing another Kurt-themed book!
Wanting: My husband’s deployment to be over.
Looking: At my sweet bulldog.
Playing: I’m still playing Paramore’s self-titled album that was released last year. So, so great.
Wasting: Money on Starbucks sandwiches and lattes.
Sewing: Literally nothing.
Wishing: That Manchester Orchestra’s new album was already out, so I could listen to it forever and ever and ever.
Enjoying: The fact that I finished a lengthy article about a very important topic yesterday. Hopefully, it will be up on Defense Wife soon!
Waiting: For April.
Liking: Reese’s Eggs.
Wondering: How many of those Reese’s Eggs I can polish off in five minutes.
Loving: That I only have about a month left until I get my degree and move to Savannah.
Hoping: That my efforts to take on a more natural skincare routine pays off in the future. Adult acne is stupid.
Marveling: At the kindness that people can show during a crisis. Sometimes, people suck, but most of the time, they surprise you by being totally caring, compassionate, and giving.
Needing: To get started on my oral presentation for Spanish.
Smelling: Burning candles.
Wearing: My Manchester Orchestra tee (again), thick, black leggings, a red flannel, and purple fuzzy socks.
Following: The GIRLS series. I watch it every night before bed.
Noticing: Tiny green buds and plants beginning to emerge from all of this deadness.
Knowing: That today is the first day of spring, even though it seems like nice, warm weather is still forever away
Thinking: About food. As usual.
Bookmarking: Perfume by Patrick Süskind
Opening: Books. Forever and always.
Giggling: At my friends in Spanish class.
Feeling: Grateful, anxious, and excited.

xoxoxo
Ash

Good to See You, March

3.10.2014

© Fancy That © Fancy That © Fancy That © Fancy That © Fancy ThatMarch is such a beautiful month, is it not? We spring forward, and let’s face it, anything involving the word “spring” is something that I can definitely get down with. We begin to see the slightest hints of greenery, and going for a run doesn’t force me to come home with numb, frozen fingers and a runny nose. Well, most days, anyway.

One exception would be the day trip that my family and I took to Malabar Farm yesterday afternoon. The Maple Syrup Festival was in full swing, and we decided to brave the elements to do some exploring and taste testing. Despite the fact that our little toes were unreal numb, we found ourselves being pulled through the woods in a wagon by two beautiful horses and a mule. All the while, a late winter snow fell gracefully in the background, sticking to our hair and noses. If there’s any atmosphere that I’m willing to put up with unsatisfactory weather, it’s this one, surrounded by family.

I was able to talk to that hubs of mine tonight! I’m happy to mark another day off the deployment calendar, and in between my endless talking, I discovered that he’s had a bit more down time to watch movies and has finished the Game of Thrones series. Bless his heart for listening to me drone on and on about everything from taking out the recycling to the new facial cleansing regimen I’m trying out. I know, I know – recycling and natural facial cleansing!? Things are getting wild over here.

Anyway, I suppose I’ll sign off for now! I have to prepare for a week of reading and binge watching HBO’s Girls, because it is officially spring break!

Happy March!

xoxoxo
Ash

Deployment Is a Stupid Thing

2.24.2014

© Fancy That: Deployment Is a Stupid Thing

I woke up this morning to thick, glittery snowflakes drifting through the air outside. It was the fluffy kind of snow that doesn’t really stick to much but your eyelashes, but it’s now beginning to leave traces behind. I’ve noticed it swirling across the sidewalks like one long rattlesnake, and in any other circumstance, it would be beautiful. It still is, I guess, but the part of me that’s excited to see snow has died for the season. For every tiny flake that I see, it reminds me of how much time we have left until springtime. It seems like it’s right around the corner, but it doesn’t much feel this way when I haven’t seen my husband in three months and still have plenty of time to go.

Deployment is a stupid thing. There is absolutely no part of me that doesn’t respect my husband’s job and all of the sacrifices that he and his buddies make. I understand that it’s important, but when I’m up late listening to sappy songs over and over, dwelling in my own misery, because I do that sometimes, the only thing that I can think is that deployment is a stupid thing, and I want it to be over.

I want to be cooking together in the kitchen, taking Capone for a walk, or exploring the world outside. I want to be running and working out together, because there’s nothing like having your own personal trainer, and it’s something that we both enjoy. Okay, okay; I don’t always love working out while it’s happening, but I love that we’re at the gym together. That last word is key.

I want us to be vegging out on the couch, watching Netflix until two in the morning. I want to be writing blog posts, while I anxiously watch that slowly-ticking clock, just waiting for my husband to come home from work. I want so many things that begin and end with Caleb.

I try not to display my drama on the Internet, because frankly, I find it pointless, but there always comes a point, during a deployment, where I’m just sad. I keep reminding myself, though, that it will be over sooner than it seems. No deployment has lasted forever.

On a brighter note, I keep going back to that major event happening in a couple of months, assuming I don’t fail this Spanish class, that is. Graduation. The light at the end of the tunnel. After six (SIX!) years on the road to earning a bachelor’s, it’s finally approaching.

I often go back and re-read my journals. Reading about who I was when this journey started is strange and empowering, all at the same time. Strange, because even in just six years, a person can change so much. Empowering, because it’s proof that there’s always room for growth. Even comparing blog posts from those early days, I see a growing wisdom and maturity in myself that will expand, year by year. What an amazing thing.

Regardless how bad things seem, we keep on moving, whether voluntarily or subconsciously. We keep on moving, and pretty soon, those bad things are either gone, or they hurt a little bit less. In the process, we get to experience those rare, magical, beautiful, awe-inspiring moments that are strung together, so we remember that we are living.

So, keep moving, friends. It’s worth it.

xoxoxo
Ash

Weekend Festivities

2.16.2014

© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities

I’m a lazy bum and neglected to upload these photos in time for Valentine’s Day, but I still wanted to share! Heather and I spent Galentine’s Day together, which, since I haven’t yet jumped on the Parks and Rec bandwagon, I had no idea was a thing. The whole idea is to celebrate ladies, and there’s no lady who I would rather have pigged out on junk food and watched tons of Daria with. The only thing that I regret about Heather’s and my friendship is that we didn’t start hanging out sooner. She’s basically my bright light in this itty-bitty town. Also, I should explain that in the top photo, I’m attempting to make up for my lack of an ‘O’ on my banner, so that’s what that’s all about.

© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities © Fancy That: Weekend Festivities © Fancy That: Weekend Festivities © Fancy That: Weekend Festivities

This weekend has been packed full adventure! My parents and I kicked things off with a trip to Woodlands Tavern in Columbus to see one of my dearest friends open for Tim Reynolds and his band TR3. He did a beautiful job, and the best part is that I got to shake my booty surrounded by some of the sweetest, closest girl friends I’ve ever had. Since everyone’s schedules are so crazy, and we’re all spread out in different parts of the state, time spent together is rare. The older we get, the more that we actually have to make the effort to see one another; this isn’t high school anymore, where we hang out every day, but I think we’ve got things under control. :] I’m so fortunate to have these people in my life. It makes my heart feel so full just thinking about it.

© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities

On Saturday, my family and I made another trip to Columbus to get our spice on at the Fiery Foods Festival. They had tons of vendors set up at North Market, with samples of out-of-this-world hot sauces, jellies and jams, and even spicy chocolate. I might have gone a bit overboard, but I was comforted by the fact that this: A) Only comes once a year, and B) Is probably my last Fiery Foods for quite some time, since I’ll be moving to Savannah very soon. Below is my parents’ and my combined loot. So. Much. Yum. Even Mom, who thinks pepper is spicy, was able to find a palate-friendly product to take home; the Strawberry Apple Salsa was her pick.

© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities

We spent the rest of the day hanging out at Polaris and window shopping for teas, clothes, and kitchen gadgets. I bought a bohemian-inspired top to support my mission to actually become Misty Day this summer, so I was pretty stoked about that. In between stores, we ran into this display in front of Macy’s, which consisted of a woman drenched in pink tulle dancing on a small platform. She was literally a living part of a display for M.A.C. cosmetics, which I’m not sure I appreciate, but we’ll save that debate for another time.

© Fancy That: Weekend Festivities

I especially love when I get to hang out with my cousins, Murissa and Holden. They are forever making me laugh, and they’ve basically been the siblings I never had. It’s been an extreme joy watching them grow up, and I get so sentimental every time I think about the years that we’ve spent together. They’ve grown from little babies, who I used to babysit and take to the park, to brilliant young adults, who are two of my best friends.

AND to make the day EVEN better, I got to talk to Hubs not once, but twice! When that happens, it’s like Christmas, since usually days go by before he makes a phone call home. Even though, as usual, I did most of the talking, it was so great to hear his voice and to catch up a bit. This week, I need to get another care package together for him. It was a bummer being without him on Valentine’s Day, but we’ll just have to celebrate it a bit later. I absolutely cannot wait for him to come home. This deployment, and this winter in general, seem to be moving at a turtle’s pace. I’m ready to see my husband!

Proofreading this post is a huge reminder of how many awesome people I’ve been lucky enough to spend my life with. Whether we’re heading out for grand adventures, sitting on the couch watching Daria, or having movie marathons with wine, each of these individuals bring infinite amounts of joy to my life, and for that, I am so grateful.

xoxoxo
Ash

This and That

2.05.2014

© Fancy That: This and That © Fancy That: This and That © Fancy That: This and That © Fancy That: This and That © Fancy That: This and That

1. I’ve been trying to get back into my running groove lately. It’s been difficult to get out there with the mass amounts of snow and cold weather we’ve been having, but I’m doing my best. I invested in some ultra warm running gear and, frankly, have just been trying to suck it up.

Yesterday, I found myself jogging through a local cemetery. I had to stop to fix my bun that was flopping all over the place on top of my head. After my headphones dropped out of my ears by accident, I found myself totally alone in the stillness of winter. Surrounded by snowy woods and gravestones, I got the eeriest feeling. I can’t rally explain it, but it sort of felt like I was being watched. I scanned the woods, half expecting to find someone peeking at me from around a tree trunk.

Suddenly, I had the urge to get the heck out of there as fast as possible. I’ve run through that cemetery a hundred times, and have never felt that way. That’s just the power of winter, I suppose. Everything takes on a more haunted, ghostly feel.

2. Since cooking is one of the ways I’m able to bring a bit of color, warmth, and happiness to my life, I’ve been focusing a lot of attention on my meals. For breakfast, I usually do something simple, like what’s pictured above. Lunch brings either a salad of some sort or a turkey sandwich, loaded with veggies, some yogurt and fruit on the side. For dinners, my mom and I have been have been creating meal plans at the beginning of the week. We’ve had everything from kale pasta, Bubble and Squeak (a recipe I’ve borrowed from my mother-in-law), and a yummy new chili recipe that my dad whipped up for the Super Bowl.

3. Sunday afternoon brought much joy in the form of little ones and catching up with family. This is my sweet cousin, Alex, shortly before we stripped him down to his jeans and let him go at his tiny birthday cupcake. All of my baby cousins are getting so big!

That’s such an annoying this to say, since throughout my own life, adults always said the same thing to me. I never really appreciated the significance of it. The only thing that I was worried about was graduating so I could get out of high school as fast as I could. I wanted time so move right along. Then, one day, I ended up being the adult, watching my very first baby cousin turn 14. Now, of course, my regular thoughts are, “I remember when they were born. They’re growing so quickly,” just like all those adults said before me.

Every year that goes by, I get more of a grasp on the passage of time, and it boggles my mind. Sometimes, I wish I could tell it to slow down and take a breather, while I catch up.

4. and 5. Since snow has seemed to be the view of the season, I thought it only appropriate that I feature a few frozen snowflakes. I hung myself out of my bedroom window this morning to capture the sugary scene below. As gorgeous as it is, I’m 110% ready to see the first sign of greenery around this sleepy town.

I’ll be back soon.

xoxoxo
Ash

 

Baked With Love

2.02.2014

© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love© Fancy That: Baked With Love

We have been busy, busy over here, particularly in the cooking/baking department. My mom and I made a bunch of football-shaped sugar cookies for our up-coming Super Bowl party, and of course, since I don’t care much for sports, I took it upon myself to make some Valentine’s cut-outs, as well. Mixing up the pink frosting and decorating with red and white sprinkles made me feel all fun and festive. I just generally enjoy celebrating, no matter what it is. It’s someone’s birthday? CELEBRATE! It’s hump day? CELEBRATE! I just got a 100% on a Spanish quiz? CELEBRATE! WITH WINE! And on and on. Celebration is a way of life, my friends.

Speaking of celebrating, we have a special party to attend today. My little cousins have birthdays coming up, so my aunt is having a little get-together in their honor. I predict lots of excited children and yummy cake!

Other than the hustle and bustle of every day life, we are just about in the middle of a deployment. I’m counting down the days until the hubs comes home, and for all those who are wondering, he’s doing well. I mailed out a care package stuffed full of goodies not too long ago, so he should be receiving it soon. Pretty soon, our tiny family will be back in Savannah, and we can continue our married adventures, school-free and temporarily deployment-free. How awesome is that?

xoxoxo
Ash

Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit

2.01.2014

© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an Outfit© Fancy That: Best Friend Adventures and an OutfitSweater and leggings: Old Navy, Boots: Burlington Coat Factory, Bag: Target

There are two things that are apparent when I look at the above photos: 1) I desperately need a haircut, and 2) Capone loves the camera just as much as I do. Sometimes it’s hard not to avoid the bulldog photobomb, so it’s best to just go with it. Also, let’s talk about those flyaways in the third picture. That’s a vision of glory, right there.

Anyway, HAPPY FEBRUARY!!!!! Oh, February, it’s so good to see you with your pink hearts, and romantic vibe. You being one month closer to spring, I must say, I think I’m in love with you. It’s in the air, you know.

Here’s a little recap from yesterday:

One of my favorite things in the world is hanging out with my best friend. Miss Heather was nice enough to invite me over for some delicious lunch that she prepared for us, complete with a southwestern-inspired salad and a fruit salad with apples, dried cranberries, Raisinets, granola, and an ingredient or two that I might have forgotten. We ate until her kitchen table was completely void of food, then rolled ourselves out the door to take some of Heather’s blog photos.

We arrived at the train depot, freezing but in good spirits, only to be met by strange sounds coming from the abandoned building. Sounds that resembled the sex scene from Forrest Gump, if you catch my drift. After a little snooping and a few loud raps on the door to ruin the climax for whoever was inside, we ran away giggling like schoolgirls. Because we’re mature adults, that’s why.

Before all of these adventures took place, I took my booty (and the rest of me, too) outside for a run. It was a heatwave yesterday morning (30 DEGREES!), so I figured I’d better take advantage. It was even warm enough for some of the snow to melt a bit, which is probably one of the most beautiful sights ever for a runner. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve nearly bit the dust from the slippery roads. Just a brief shout out to winter – I hate you, go away!

Overall, it was a lovely afternoon. Lots of laughter and gossip, which is just what I need to get me through this bitter cold season we seem to be stuck in.

I’ll be back soon!

xoxoxo
Ash

The Liebster Award

1.31.2014

The Liebster Award
While on our way to grab some afternoon coffee the other day, my dear friend, Heather, from Rags and Roses, mentioned that she had been nominated for The Liebster Award. I had never heard of it before, but the idea is basically to get the word out about smaller blogs who are on their way up. It’s a great way to reach out to others in the blogging community and recognize writers, photographers, etc. for all of their hard work. Pretty cool, right? It’s even cooler that she nominated me, too.

When you receive, and accept, The Liebster Award from a fellow blogger, you should do the following:
  • Post a link to your nominator’s blog on your own Liebster post.
  • Answer the questions that your nominator has set for you, plus create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Pick 11 of your own fave up-and-coming bloggers, and post links to their blogs in your Liebster post.
  • Let them know you’ve nominated them.
  • No tag backs!

1. What/who inspired you to become a blogger?

I guess I just needed a creative outlet. When I began Fancy That, I really had no idea where it would go. I was going through the first of multiple deployments that I would come to experience, and I was looking for a way to channel my energy and emotions into something positive. I created a space where I could come, get my feelings out, and those who were interested could take a look.

As time progressed, Fancy That turned into more of a lifestyle blog of sorts, but nothing about this place of mine is structured or by the book. I post whatever strikes my fancy (pun not intended), and lately, it’s been an outlet as I grow as a “photographer.” When I’m in Savannah, it’s also an ideal way to keep my friends and family back home updated on what’s going on with Caleb and me.

2. Who are some of your idols/icons?

I have so, very many. I draw inspiration from everything – my favorite bands, actresses, writers, or just people around me with kind hearts and open minds. Everyone from Jeffrey Eugenides to Dolly Parton to Jessica Valenti to my lovely mom and dad.

3. What are your favorite things to post about?

I love posting my outfits of the day, but I always feel super awkward posing for them. More often than not, I just post photos of my daily adventures, experiments, and my favorite faces…and my dog, of course.

4. What are your five favorite songs at the moment?

1. “Annabelle”- Joshua James
2. “Lucky Bastard” – All Get Out
3. “Top Notch” -Manchester Orchestra
4. “From the Ashes” – In This Moment
5. “Hide” – Little May

5. What is the last movie you went to see in theaters?

If I say, my husband will kill me. ;]

6. If you could only eat one thing forever, what would it be?

Mexican food. All of it. Does that count?

7. How have your blogging styles/post subjects changed since you first began?

These days, I really make an effort to post all original material. I used to treat this site as more of a Tumblr, and now, I’m really passionate about posting my own photos.

8. What is the last thing that made you laugh really hard?

My classmates this afternoon in Spanish class. This last bit of college has been super frustrating. However, being able to go to class and laugh, from the moment I walk in to the moment I leave, with the sweetest people makes it all the more worth it.

9. If your life were a television show, which show would it be?

Probably a mixture of Roseanne, Freaks and Geeks, and The OC. Or at least, that’s what I would prefer.

10. Name at least one thing you can make? (food, crafts, etc.)

I can make a mean pot of chili.

11. What are some of your future blogging/life goals?

I just want to continue to grow as a blogger, writer, and amateur photographer. I’d like to inspire people, and I hope, even if it’s just to try out a recipe I’ve posted, that I already have. I want this blog to be an example of the beauty that can be found in every day life, if only you pay attention. The things I post are things that I find beautiful or worthwhile.

Okay, now for your questions:

1. What is your biggest passion?
2. What inspired you to start blogging?
3. Who is your favorite author, and why?
4. What do you collect?
5. If you could meet up with a younger you, what advice would you give to her?
6. If you could travel anywhere in the whole world, where would it be?
7. Name five of your favorite books.
8. What do you look for in a blog?
9. How would you describe your style?
10. What’s your favorite candy?
11. Who do you look up to the most?

And, here’s who I’ve nominated!

Lalu Bean
Welcome Home Taylor
Dream in Neon
Dancing Through Sunday
Infinite Style
Pickles and Chapstick
Nice Kind of Blue
Chambray & Curls
Elashock
Valentina Duracinsky
Feathers and Ash

That’s all for now, readers! Thanks, again, to that lovely friend of mine for nominating this blog. Hugs all around!

xoxoxo
Ash

Bloodbuzz Ohio

1.30.2014

© Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio © Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio © Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio © Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio © Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio © Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio © Fancy That: Bloodbuzz Ohio

Yesterday afternoon, my dad and I hopped in the car so I could capture what’s left of the snow rollers, that everyone’s been talking about, on camera. He explained that they had begun to shrink by the time I got around to photographing them, but even so, I’m glad to have headed out to take a look. I’ll probably never see them again in my entire lifetime; Mother Nature is one cool chick.

Since classes were cancelled yesterday, I haven’t really left the house in a good three or four days, so fresh air and a tiny adventure is just what I needed. We even brought Capone along for the ride, because he’s going a bit stir crazy at home, as well. This winter could head on out any day now. I’d like to get back into my running routine, and that’s been a bit difficult with subzero temperatures. Considering that this is my last winter here for awhile, my home state is certainly sending me out with a bang.

The best part of our little journey is that I got to try out my brand new lens! My sweet husband gave me the most beautiful 75-300 mm lens for Christmas, and I haven’t been able to use it much. As I was riding in the car, I made the comment that I wish a deer would show up so I could snap a photo. Before I had even finished this sentence, sure enough, I looked over, and there was one in the woods. I rolled down the window and started snapping. Soon after, we drove by the local buffalo farm, and I thought that they were photo-worthy, too, even though they have the ugliest tongues.

Other than that, I’ve just been doing a whole lot of reading and Spanish homework. To my extreme disappointment, I discovered that I only read 21 books last year, so I made a resolution to kick it up a notch – or a bunch of notches – this time around.

I hope that everyone is staying warm and toasty this winter; it’s the harshest one that I’ve ever experienced, and even my Georgia friends are experiencing freezing rain and snow. Not fun.

Hang in there, everyone! If you haven’t yet noticed, the days are getting longer, so spring, that gorgeous season, is on its way!

xoxoxo
Ash

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