My oh my, ONE MONTH flew by!

It’s unbelievable how quickly the first month of Evelyn Faye’s life has passed.  I wanted to do a photo dump and talk a little bit about our experiences the first month as first time parents.


Evelyn Faye

Evelyn, you are an AMAZING sleeper.  You take after your mum.  However, you are particular about how you fall asleep at night.  We have a heating pad under a receiving blanket in the bassinet, and we warm it up before we put you in.  We turn it off after we lay you down, so you don’t cook 🙂  We also have a sound system set up right under your bassinet.  We play “Sounds of the Womb” which is basically white noise with a heart beat.  As long as we stick to your routine: Change you, bed time lotion, swaddle, feed you, heat/sound, you sleep GREAT.  Most nights you sleep in 4 hour blocks, and sometimes you even sleep 6!

Evelyn Faye

How we spend our days.

Evelyn Faye

I love spending every day with you Evelyn Faye.  We don’t leave the house very often, but when we do, it’s a real treat.  I spend most of my time nursing or pumping, which leaves the rest of the time for cuddles.  You take pretty good naps, which is when I do house chores and blogging.  Your company is delightful.

Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye (7)


Evelyn Faye (2)

You LOVE music.  I sing you camp songs every day, and you love it.  You love the soft spiritual ones, and you love the fun and peppy ones.  The sound of the guitar is mystical to you.  Your eyes get so wide.  You have a musical seahorse stuffed animal that makes water sounds with lullabies.  We play it every time we change you on the changing table.  It is so calming to you.  You love when daddy plays dubstep while coding.  Mommy doesn’t love it… but you do!

Daddy time.

Evelyn Faye (4)

Daddy is very territorial of you.  When he is home, you are all his.  He has a hard time sharing you!  You are his pride and joy.  He never sets you down.  Most nights he holds you into the wee morning hours, just because he wants to bond with you as much as possible.

Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye (18)

Evelyn Faye (13)

He loves to hold you at eye level, and make you dance while listening to Weezer.  You are so alert while you have daddy dance lessons.  He also loves to squish faces with you.

Evelyn Faye (1)


Evelyn Faye

Evelyn Faye (17)

They still aren’t sure about you.  They like to sniff you.  Most of the time they ignore you.  At least they don’t hate you!  We put peanut butter on your feet and let Indy and Buster lick it off.  You seemed really confused by what was going on!  I’m convinced that one day they will finally accept you and cuddle you.


Evelyn Faye

This is your custom made onesie from Marlene.  She whipped this up for you during my baby shower.  Aren’t we grateful for the crafty people in ours lives?  🙂

Every day with you is a fashion show.  You are cutter than one million buttons.  You are much better dressed than your mother.

Evelyn Faye

You are in a phase right now where newborn clothes are too small for you, but 3 month clothes are too big.  You fit pretty well into generic 0-3 onesies, but those are boring.  So I’ve taken it upon myself to spice them up.  Here are a few I’ve made so far, but I’m working on a bunch more.

Evelyn Faye (5)

Tummy time.


At first you HATED tummy time.  You would just scream until you fell asleep.

Evelyn Faye (14)Until we figured out tummy time on the Boppy.  And you’ve never loved anything more.  You’ll do tummy time for hours this way.  Your head, neck and back are getting so strong.  You’ll hold your neck up for quite awhile.  It is adorable.

Evelyn FayeAnd when you’re done with tummy time, we turn you around on the Boppy to lounge, and you are the happiest little camper.

Evelyn Faye (12)

Evelyn Faye

Going out. Evelyn Faye

We’ve just barely been brave enough to start taking you out.  Occasionally we take you when we go out to eat, and you sleep in your carseat with the cover on.  Recently we took you bowling with some friends, and you did SO WELL.  You didn’t fuss, and you loved being passed around.  When the cosmic lights came on, you were so alert.

Evelyn Faye


These 7 weeks have been a dream come true for us.  You are so much fun.  You change and grow every day.  I love being your mom.  You have brought so much joy to our family.

Happy Birthday Evelyn Faye

Monday, December 23, 2013

4:30 AM.  Aaron woke up because he was too antsy to keep sleeping.  He remembered that we were out of dog food for the puppies, so he ran to the store for their food and got himself some breakfast.

5:30 AM.  I woke up, more nervous than I’ve ever been in my entire life.  I cuddled Indy and Buster for awhile because I knew it was going to be a few days until they would see us again.

6:00 AM.  I called the hospital to see what time they wanted us there.  They said 7:00 AM.  So me and Aaron watched the Today Show for a little bit, then packed the bags into the Scion and were on our way to the Riverton Hospital. I was having really bad anxiety the whole way there.  I didn’t know what to expect.  I heard so many different things about being induced.  I didn’t know what it was going to feel like.  Everyone had been sharing their labor horror stories with me.  I was nervous for the pain.  I was nervous about how long it would take.  I was nervous of potential complications.  I was so shaky in the car.  It was such a cold and dark morning.  The sun still hadn’t come up.  Aaron was such an amazing support the whole way there.  He was great at keeping me calm and assuring me things would be okay, and before we knew it, we would have Evelyn in our arms.

7:00 AM.  We checked into Labor and Delivery.  They showed us to our room and had me change.  It was right during a shift change, so it took a few minutes to get things going.

Last ever bump picture!

Evelyn Faye


8:00 AM.  I had the sweetest nurse.  She was an older lady named Gale.  She was the wife of a Lutheran pastor.  She told me all about her grandkids, and how she still had so much Christmas shopping to do.  She got me hooked up to the Pitocin.  I had heard that once you’ve got the Pitocin going, contractions happen fast.

9:00 AM.  Nothing was really happening.  A few light contractions, but nothing measurable.  They had turned up the Pit a few times, but I hadn’t dilated more than I was when I got to the hospital (a 4).

10:00 AM.  Still nothing.  Dr. Anders came in to break my water.  I was also very nervous about this.  It didn’t hurt at all for me.  She broke it, and it was messy.  After that, things started moving.  I started having actual contractions.  Aaron was so good at holding my hand.  I would close my eyes really tight and he would talk me through it.  It wasn’t the most unbearable pain.  I thought it was manageable. My nurse Gale kept telling me I could get my epidural any time.  I kept saying I was okay.  I wanted to wait until I really WANTED the epidural.  I could still manage the pain just fine.  Finally Gale came back and told me there were 4 other women in labor who would probably be wanting their epidurals soon, so if I wanted one, I should get it now, because if I waited, it could be awhile.  So I said, let’s do this!  But I was nervous.  Really nervous.  I’m the world’s largest baby when it comes to needles.  So I was having anxiety about it.  I wasn’t worried about getting paralyzed.  I was just worried about it hurting.

11:00 AM.  The anesthesiologist came in.  I was really scared.  They had me sit on the edge of the bed and hunch my back.  Gale was holding my head, and Aaron was holding my hand.  When they curled my back, so much amniotic fluid came gushing out.  It was so uncomfortable.  The anesthesiologist was poking my back with his hands to find the right place, and it tickled, so I kept moving.  But they kept trying to get me to hold as still as possible.  It seemed impossible.  I whispered to myself “if I can get my pilot’s license, I can do this…”  And the anesthesiologist said “Hey!  I’m a pilot too!”  And we started talking about airplanes and airports, and flying stories, and before I knew it, it was all done.  It felt like a bee sting, and that was it.  Honestly, the getting the IV was worse.

Around 12:00 PM.  Both sets of parents showed up to hang out and visit while we waited.  Since I wasn’t feeling anything, I was able to doze in and out of naps.  We were watching a TV show on TLC about Lottery Winners, and what they ended up doing with their money. Gale was able to get off early to do her Christmas shopping, so she said goodbye, and I met my new nurse Jenny.  Things were progressing normally throughout the afternoon.

Around 3:00 PM.  I could start feeling contractions again.  They were very painful.  They gave me more epidural medicine, which helped.  But I could feel the pressure of contractions.

4:00 PM.  I started to stagnate at a 6.  I hadn’t dilated past it.  Dr. Anders was worried, and didn’t want to let me sit too long in labor.  She didn’t want the baby to go into distress.  She said they would check again in an hour, and if I hadn’t dilated more that she wanted to do a c-section.  I was so nervous.  I absolutely didn’t want a c-section.  Aaron’s dad, Bob, and Aaron gave me a Priesthood blessing.  (Bob had given me a blessing once before.  I had a bleeding ulcer that needed to be cauterized.  Before they put me under, he gave me the blessing.  When they went to do the procedure, they couldn’t find the bleeding ulcer.  It had completely disappeared.)  After the blessing, I decided to try and take a nap to relax as much as possible before they checked my cervix again.

5:00 PM.  The nurse came back to check me.  She said “You’re at a 10, you’re ready to start pushing!”  Aaron and I looked at each other with nervous/excited faces, and kicked our parents out.  Aaron took this picture of himself right before we started.

Evelyn Faye

I didn’t know what pushing would be like.  On the 2nd push Aaron said “Kenz, I can see the top of her head!  She has hair!”  This was so much motivation to me that I pushed as hard as I thought I could.  I was determined for it not to take over an hour.  Aaron was supporting me so great and cheering me on.  The nurse was so impressed.  After 15 mins of pushing, Evelyn was crowning, so the nurse went to track down Dr. Anders.  It took the nurse about 15 minutes to find her.  Dr. Anders wasn’t expecting us to be ready that soon.  When Dr. Anders came in the room and got all her supplies ready, Evelyn came out with 2 more big pushes.

This picture might gross you out, but it was the most beautiful moment of my life.

Evelyn Faye

5:58 PM.  It was the most amazing feeling when she came out.  The put her immediately on my chest, and it was the most beautiful moment of my entire life.  There was such a thin line between Heaven and Earth.  I had just brought a life into this world.  This beautiful creation was half me and half Aaron, made from our love, and here she was.  Living and breathing.  I held onto her so tight and the tears streamed down my face.  Evelyn.  My precious miracle baby.  The baby I thought I could never have.  Aaron cut the cord, and they took her to be weighed and cleaned.  I had never known such joy.

Evelyn Faye Crowder.  December 23, 2013.  7 lbs 5 oz. 19.5″ long.

Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye

Our parents came in to meet their new granddaughter.  It was so fun to see their faces light up as they held this sweet sweet fresh baby.

Evelyn Faye


Having a baby over Christmas is magical.  The hospital takes extra good care of you and goes out of their way to make things special.  They gave us a stocking to put Evelyn in.  They also gave us a special Christmas beanie for her.

Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Evelyn Faye


Welcome to the world Baby Girl.

Impatiently Waiting

Dearest Evelyn,

Your Mom is scheduled to be induced on the 23rd of December and we’re just counting down the time until then. We had hoped that you would come sooner since we don’t want your birthday to be so close to Christmas. I guess you’re just too comfortable! Hopefully labor won’t last too long, or else you’ll be born on Christmas Eve.

We are so excited to meet you. We have been preparing and trying to get everything all ready and nice. The nursery is put together, the pack-n-play is ready, and we are just hanging out. How boring!

The biggest thing we’ve learned though, through all of this, has been to have faith in the Lords plan and in His timing. Your Mom and I are very much “go-getters”. We like to set goals and make plans. We like to get things done. Everything about this pregnancy has been so out of our control. We had to patiently wait to even GET pregnant with you. And now that we are so ready to just bring you into this life and to hold you in our arms we are once again reminded that we must be patient. We must wait on the Lord’s timing and plan.

That is probably some of the best advice I could give to you. Patiently wait upon the Lord. Not to say that you shouldn’t do things, but have the wisdom to know when things are out of your control.

We already love you SO much Evelyn. I can’t wait to meet you! Get here soon!



The Longest Christmas Season

Dear Evelyn,

It’s Christmas time.  The whole world is abuzz with shopping, gift giving, baking cookies, ugly sweater parties, family parties, work parties, spending money, making sure the perfect decorations are in place- inside and out.  Busy, busy, busy.

Christmas time has been a little different for me this year.  It started back in April, when we knew you were coming, and due to arrive on Christmas.  Instead of my world revolving around Christmas preparations, it began to revolve around you.  It began to revolve more around Daddy.  And I realized that this was the season to celebrate the creation of our family.

And the more I thought about it, the more I connected to mother Mary.  Not that I put myself in the same regard as her.  But we had the same pregnancy timeline.  And “Christmas” for her wasn’t an over-commercialized event to count down to.  It was a time to bring the Savior of the World to this Earth to save us all.  My pregnancy with you has not been easy in the slightest.  And neither was Mary’s.  How can I even compare the two??  She had to give birth in a pile of straw, in a stable, with no medicine.  Mine has been a walk in the park comparably.

This year everyone has seemed to give me a “pass card” with doing neighbor gifts, and other festivities.  Everyone says “don’t worry!  Just rest.  You just get this baby here.”  But I’m afraid this feeling of extra joy I’ve felt this year will melt away in the future of other Christmases.  It’s my hope that each year, YOU my precious daughter, will remind us to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus Christ, and the love of our family.

I love you, miracle baby.

Christmas mama

Sometimes, The Answer is “No.”

Dear Evelyn,

If you are anything like me, this is going to be a thing that you struggle with too.

From a really young age, I never believed that “no” was an answer.  Not in an extremely defiant way, just in a way that I believed anything could be accomplished and there was no reason to halt it.

When I was 4 years old, I ceaselessly begged your grandpa to take off my training wheels.  He kept saying no.  Him and grandma thought I wasn’t big enough to ride a two-wheeler yet.  And grandpa was busy.  He didn’t have time to take them off, and put them back on, then take them off again.  But I wouldn’t stop asking.  No wasn’t an option.  I believe in myself.  Finally, grandpa took them off, but he said, “Kenz, once these training wheels come off, they aren’t going back on.”  As soon as they were off, I took off riding, and didn’t look back.

A little bit after that, I wanted to roller blade with my big sisters.  Grandma said I wasn’t big enough yet.  So one day I put Gina’s too-big roller blades on my tiny feet and took off.  Grandma & Grandpa realized that maybe I needed a pair of my own.

At the age of 21, I said “I’m going to get my pilot’s license.”  And everyone thought I was all talk.  No one took it seriously, until the day I had my license in my hand.

By this point, I had taught myself that if I wanted to accomplish something, it was up to me, and that there could be no excuses.  And that way, “No” wasn’t an option.

Well, Evelyn, I’ve had a problem.  Being pregnant has been a pretty big struggle.  It’s a tough ride.  Some days I feel really good, but a lot of the time I can’t even move out of bed.  The hardest part though is being told “no.”  I’ve had to learn my limits.  My limits have changed since being pregnant.  And sometimes I forget that.  I want to do the same things I used to do.  But then your daddy has to tell me no.  It makes me so grumpy!  I do not enjoy it.  I’ve always believed that if I put my mind to something, I could do it.  Even though I’m a girl, I can use power tools.  I can lay flooring.  I can change light fixtures.  I’ve taught myself how to do things because I didn’t want to count on anyone else doing it.  But these pregnant months have taught me to rely on those around me.  I don’t like it!  It’s so hard.  But I know that this is a lesson I’m supposed to learn.  Maybe this is the only way that Heavenly Father could teach me about “no.”  It seems like maybe I have never really listened before.

Just remember, that most of the time, when people tell us “no,” it is because they love us.  They don’t want to see us get hurt.  It’s not a way to take away our agency.  It’s to protect us.  You are worth these hard lessons I have to learn.  And before I know it, I’ll be the one saying “no” and you’ll be the one testing my limits.  I don’t want it any other way.  I love you little bean.  See you soon Christmas Miracle 🙂

100 Things To Teach Evelyn

100 Things To Teach My Daughter

1.  You are absolutely and undeniably unique.  You are one of a kind, and there is no one like you in the world.  BE YOURSELF.  It will draw people to you for the rest of your life.

2.  Life is not a race.  Never compare yourself to where the people around you are.  Your plan is different than anyone else’s plan.  Remember that.

3.  Always set goals.  Even small ones.  We are creatures of progression.  Post your goals where you can see them and always picture yourself accomplishing them.

4.  Lists are your friend.  Make them, and enjoy the glorious feeling of crossing off an item.

5.  Step outside your comfort zone.  You’ll be surprised.

6.  You’re never too old for Harry Potter.

7.  Everything is always okay in the end.  If it’s not okay, then it’s not the end.

8.  Nothing you do can make me stop loving you.

9.  Pay attention to the way Grandpa Brad treats Grandma Trudy.

10.  Beauty truly comes from the inside.  Believe that.  The media lies.  Don’t compare yourself or your looks.  Comparison is the thief of joy.  You were made in God’s image.  He doesn’t make mistakes.  You ARE beautiful.

11.  Read your scriptures.  It has the answers to all the problems you’ll face.  And if you don’t think so, read harder.

12.  We don’t stop playing when we get old.  We get old because we stop playing.

13.  Friends will make or break you.  Seek out good friends.  Be the kind of friend you wish you had.

14.  Don’t be a people-pleaser.  Just be honest and do what’s right, even if it’s not popular.

15.  Live alone at least once in your life.  You will learn more about yourself in that time than you ever can imagine.

16.  When you start feeling sorry for yourself, find someone to serve.  Do something nice for someone.  Making cookies is a good start.

17.  Chronic complaining is unattractive.  Develop your problem solving skills.  If you aren’t willing to make the proper change, you aren’t allowed to whine about the problem.

18.  There are things dogs understand, that people don’t.  Cuddle one of the puppies when you’re having a sad day.

19.  Never deny an adventure.

20.  Don’t lose the Eternal Perspective.  As long as you can remember that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing, small trials become trivial.  He sees more than we do, and it’s all for something.

21.  NOTHING in the world is more important than the temple.  Always keep getting to the temple your goal, and stay worthy of it once you’re there.  No activity, drink, behavior, or lifestyle is better than the blessings the temple holds.  I promise that.  Get there.  Stay there.

22.  Keep a journal.  Write your story.  It’s therapy.

23.  Your daddy works so hard to support our family.  He loves me and you so much.  He makes time to laugh and have fun with us every single day.  He is happy and patient.  I don’t know how he does it, but make sure you find someone like him to marry.

24.  Don’t be afraid to do things yourself.

25.  Part of doing things yourself is making mistakes.  Mistakes can always be fixed.

26.  You never know who is watching and looking up to you.  Never forget that you are always an example to someone.

27.  Be kind to everyone.  Even strangers.  You don’t know what they are going through.  Treat everyone you meet like it’s their birthday.

28.  Hard work will get you further than anything in life.

29.  Learn to see the beauty in the world.  It’s all around.  You just have to open your eyes.

30.  Take road trips often.

31.  There is more to life than money.  Money can never make you happy.  Debt will rot your soul.  Avoid unnecessary debt.

32.  Music is a language best understood by the heart.

33.  Don’t believe anyone who says U2 is lame.

34.  Laugh every single day.  A sense of humor is worth gold.

35.  Happiness is a journey.  It’s a mood.  It is NOT a destination.  You can be happy amidst trials.

36.  Always eat breakfast.

37.  A bowl of popcorn and Singing In the Rain will mend a heart.  Gene Kelly and his tap-dancing feet will take your problems away for 1.5 hours.

38.  Camping is one of life’s greatest pleasures.  Do it at least once a year.

39.  True love is doing the dishes together and inside jokes over silly things.

40.  You’re never too busy for a long bubble bath.

41.  Celebrate your heritage.  It’s good to be Greek.  Grandpa Pulos is one of the most amazing men who’s lived.  Learn about him.  Follow his example.

42.  I will never get mad at you for staying up too late reading a good book.

43.  Be detail oriented.

44.  Original NES nintendo will never go out of style.

45.  No excuses.  Just woman-up and get things done!

46.  A good pair of running shoes is an investment.

47.  Trust takes a long time to earn, be so careful to not break that with your friends and family.

48.  Make friends with your cousins.  Those relationships get even better with age.

49.  Treat yourself to a cold Dr. Pepper

50.  There’s no such thing as too many pillows.

51.  Your name holds special meaning to us.

52.  A strong man isn’t threatened by a strong woman.

53.  Womanhood is a gift.

54.  The painful truth is always better than a messy lie.

55.  Good communication is a skill that should always be worked on.

56.  When it rains, pause to go jump in a puddle.  Dance, while you’re at it.

57.  Never go a month without a kitchen sink.  Save your sanity.  Learn from your silly parents.

58.  Understand your worth.  If someone isn’t willing to treat you like a daughter of God, they aren’t worth your time.  Don’t ever ever settle just to save yourself from being alone.

59.  Girls can like Star Wars too.

60.  Never play the victim.  If bad things happen, it’s for a reason.  We rise from the ashes.  We don’t feel sorry for ourselves.

61.  Wickedness can NEVER be happiness.

62.  Faith has a short shelf life.  Never assume you’re “safe” from falling.  I made that mistake, and it was hard to fix.  But always remember, it CAN be fixed.  It is just really really hard.

63.  The Atonement is for more than just sins.  It is for broken hearts, sadness, depression, struggles, and anything you need strength for.  It is always available for use.  Don’t ignore it.

64.  It’s not your place to judge.  Ever.

65.  Forgive.  Even when they never say sorry.

66.  Don’t ever count on somebody else to make you happy.

67.  There’s no shame in having milk and Oreos for breakfast.

68.  Be brave enough to try new foods at least once.

69.  Fresh peaches on vanilla ice cream is the best thing you will eat all summer long.

70.  Be the first to volunteer when someone needs help.

71.  Go to the mountains often, even if only on a drive.

72.  Get a library card.

73.  Fight for what matters.

74.  Learn something from everyone.

75.  Nobody likes a know-it-all.

76.  Mean everything you say.  Keep your word.  Don’t trifle words.

77.  Don’t live in the past.  You can’t drive forward if you’re stuck looking in a rear view mirror.  You will keep crashing.  Look FORWARD, and occasionally glance back to keep things in check.

78.  Don’t wait for things to happen.  Make them happen.

79.  Drink lots of water.

80.  Most of the things you worry about never happen.

81.  I will always want to hear from you.

82.  Being passive aggressive is immature.  When you have a problem with something or someone, do the right thing and talk to them about it.  It’s hard.  But it’s better.

83.  Never attack the person.  Attack the problem.

84.  It never hurts to ask.

85.  You can’t change what people think about you.  Be your best self, and that is enough.

86.  Cardigan weather is the best weather.

87.  If you’re bored, organize your closet.

88.  Go thrift shopping often.  The DI is our best friend!

89.  Girls can use power tools too.

90.  Get to know yourself.  And LOVE yourself.  But remember, it’s not always about YOU.  Think of others, and be there to lift them up.

91.  Your life has a reason, and you have a great work to do.  Look for opportunities around you to make a difference.

92.  Being consistent is the best way to not have drama.

93.  Pay your bills on time.

94.  People watching is never a waste of time.

95.  If someone tells you getting your pilot’s license is impossible, they are wrong.

96.  You are a creation of two people’s eternal love.  No one has loved anyone more than I love your dad.

97.  Marry someone who is fun to be around and makes you laugh.  If you can’t laugh together when you accidentally put a third cup of Siracha into your meal, you’re going to have a hard time.

98.  Climb trees.

99.  Take LOTS of pictures.

100.  You are the master of your fate.  You are the captain of your soul.
“It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.”

Half Baked

Hey there Banana what’s it like inside my tummy…
Well Evelyn,
We know you’re a girl.  Guess what little thing?  We are HALF WAY DONE.  Today, we’re 20 weeks.  Does that mean we can start counting down?  You and I have had quite the adventure in the past little while.

You make me pretty sick.  And I would be SO mad about it if I didn’t love you so much.  But I love you, and I’d do anything for you.

Continue reading “Half Baked”

Little Lemon

Dear Lemon (That’s how big you are now),

I wish I had more words to write. I don’t really have many. Tonight you went to your first rodeo (well, WE went to the rodeo, but it was so loud I’m sure you could hear it). It was fun, but we left early because it was so crowded and hot.

This past week your Mom and I have been enjoying swimming in our new pool. I think you have been too because your mom hasn’t been as comfortable as I’ve seen her in that pool since we got back from Disneyland and found out we were pregnant. It’s weird to think about the prospect of being your dad. I just can’t picture it. I know that I have been feeling more ambitious lately though.

I got a new job recently so that your mom can stay home with you and not have to worry about going back to work. That is awesome. It’s more pressure than any other job I’ve ever had (my gray hair can attest to that), but it’s good. There are lots of good things about the job too, like more money, more perks, and good coworkers.

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