Author Archives: intothewesternwild

Life Lately

Dentist Trip

Going to the dentist is a bit more of an ordeal than it was in Marietta. For the kids, anyway. There’s a perfectly fine dentist in town, but we wanted the kids to go to a pediatric dentist. Fortunately, we found a brother team in Idaho Falls: pediatric dentist and orthodontist in one office. We’re going to need both.

The office is so cool. It’s set up like an old-timey train station. So, while they had to wait, they had fun playing. They all did great, but Trey and I walked out of the office and just held each other in the parking lot for a few minutes. Madeline had five baby teeth pulled to make room for her ginormous adult teeth that are already coming in. Sean had three cavities and David had eight. EIGHT. I’ve never felt like such a failure! We have really cracked down since then. We help them floss every day now. And we’re making sure that they’re actually brushing twice a day, which I’m pretty sure they weren’t doing before. Ahem!

Girl Scouts

Madeline joined the Girl Scouts back in September! She has been loving it. She just finished her first year selling cookies. She is a natural sales-woman! With virtually no help from her mom, she did amazing! I took this picture when I was putting her badges on her sash. It really took me back.

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Our TWELTH Anniversary!

It kind of went by in a blur this year! Trey got me some beautiful purple tulips (my favorite and we had them in our wedding!), we got fish and chips from Bertrams, and I baked a pound cake. Pretty exciting stuff! Not to sound too cheesy, but it really just keeps getting better and better. There’s nobody that makes me laugh like he does. We’ve had plenty of ups and downs, but I really think our marriage is stronger than ever. I’m very thankful for such a man. These are the only two pictures I took on our anniversary: the cake and a car selfie on our way to church. We are so glamorous!

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Church Stuff

We love both of our churches. Well, all three! They are all spoiling us. There’s lots of exciting things happening in our ministry. Here’s David and his buddy Dallen at church a few weeks ago. The second picture I took this morning. Shaking my head.

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I’m still enjoying teaching the kids’ Sunday School class. Trey preached this morning. We genuinely love these people.

Recently, the Men’s Ministry of SVBC hosted the church’s biggest outreach event of the year: The Beast Feast. Which is exactly what it sounds like! The men and boys had a great time, which gave the girls’ and I time to ourselves.

So thankful that these two have each other! They are blessed, indeed.

The 2015 Plague

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It came on all of a sudden. It included vomiting, high fevers, and upper respiratory stuff. It hit Charli and David. It lasted six days. Six. I’ve never had a kid have a fever for that long! It was a nasty bug, but we are all on the mend. Thankful for good doctors and nurse friends that can give us advice!

Jackson, Montana

For Sean’s birthday he requested a day at the BIG hot springs in Jackson, MT. It’s a couple hours from Salmon (near Big Hole and Bannack, for you geography fans). It was a lovely, relaxing day. We were even able to stop at Dairy Queen and the fancy Safeway grocery store (complete with a Starbucks) in Dillon.

I didn’t take a ton of pictures, but I did get a few. These were taken outside of the lodge where the hot springs are, in Jackson.

Je suis Charli(e)

And finally, Je suis Charlie! We just had to stop and take this picture outside of Bertram’s today, after lunch.

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Hope this post finds you and yours well and happy! We sure are enjoying this Salmon Spring. We’re looking forward to Easter, more family visits, and a crazy busy summer!

 

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Butters’ Shenanigans

Not long after Buttercup came to live with us (just a little over a year ago), I read an article on the laziest dogs and French Bulldogs were at the top of the list. I had to chuckle, because I had found this to be true. Bless her heart, she probably sleeps 20 hours a day. I think she might actually be part cat. She does love a sunny day and to be outside. But, if she had her druthers she would sleep all day, every day.

When we first got her we tried to interest her in some dog toys. She never showed any interest. The squeaky sounds never seemed to grab her attention. She has, over the past year, grabbed one of the kids’ stuffed animals here or there, but we always discouraged that, since they were the kids. Recently, though, we had to purge a bunch of those after deciding they were probably not helping all of the allergy problems around here. So, we gave a couple to Buttercup.

Now, we’ve seen a side of her we never saw before! She has played with these little guys until they’re unrecognizable.

Idaho Falls

Every couple of months we like to get the heck out of dodge. On a day to day basis we don’t miss all of the restaurants and shopping, but ever so often we just get that urge to be around people! It’s also what I asked for, for my birthday. Before Christmas Trey had booked us a suite at a hotel right on the Snake River in Idaho Falls and we all loved it! Pool, breakfast, our own room! Perfection. So, that’s what he and my parents gave me for my birthday.

So, Friday afternoon right after work we headed out of town. Like, Trey had the van packed, everyone bucked, and it was facing south when I pulled in the driveway! Haha! We dropped off Buttercup at the Doggy hotel and then we hit the open road.

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We drove through Wendy’s that night, which was a special treat for the kids!

The next morning, Trey let me rest and he took the kids down to the pool and to breakfast. It was so nice to be lazy! After we all got ready, we headed out to do some shopping and Chick-fil-A eating!

First, we walked around a little park right next to the hotel. I can’t wait to see it in Spring. You can tell it will be beautiful.

We hit up a Starbucks, which still had some Christmas Blend in stock! And then it was on to Target!

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Everywhere we went on Friday, David wanted to find the Legos. Because he doesn’t already have a million…

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I take pictures of books I want (but can’t necessarily justify buying at the moment when I have a million on my shelves waiting to be read). Who knew Mary Poppins was a series?!

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We hit up several other stores that day, but my favorite was Hastings! This was a store my friend and coworker Jennifer told me I would love. And she was so right! Books, music, movies, comics, coffee! It was amazing. I could’ve spent hours in there!

Saturday we tied up a few loose ends, ate at Chick-fil-A one more time and headed back to Salmon. It was a beautiful drive. I love that you can see the Tetons when you first leave Idaho Falls. And Trey and I just love road trips. It’s when we seem to have those big “couple” conversations. And the kids even got along! Win win!

Trey had some work on the plumbing to do when we got home and I unpacked. We had done a Winco run, so had a ton of groceries. Here’s some of the things we got this weekend.

We hadn’t been back in Salmon for five minutes when David lost something very important! A TOOTH! It’s his first top one and he looks even cuter and more mischievous than usual!

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And Buttercup was very happy to be home with us.

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It was a great weekend, but there’s definitely no place like home!

Valentine’s Decor <3

My Valentine’s Decor collection has grown over the years. Discovering Hobby Lobby’s outrageous sales the day after any holiday was really helpful (and fun)! So, last year I stocked up (apparently, I’d honestly forgotten). I also got a couple of things from Zulily this year. If you’ve never done Zulily, you should check it out. Cute things at good prices.

My absolute favorite, though, is a gift that Madeline made for me this year at school! Like, it’s LEGIT pretty… not just I love it because she made it! It’s this beautiful coffee filter wreath.

I love love! Happy Valentine’s Day (belatedly) to you and yours!

The Flood

I just realized how isolated we are. Like, I knew it before. But, now I understand it. Because there is this huge thing that is happening all around me and I know almost nothing about it. There’s this flood. And it’s bad. But, in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know much. All I can tell you is the story of my day. There is no local news that I’ve been watching with reporters all over town announcing every detail in minutia. I walk out the door, wave at the neighbor (“y’all ok?” “yeah, we’re good”), take a few pictures, go back inside and walk around clumsily wondering how much I can really do to help with these four little humans around that still like, need to be fed and whatnot.

Trey and I had grand plans for the day. GRAND. My biggest goal was to not get dressed. He wanted to rent a movie (yes, there’s a movie rental place here) and the kids wanted to eat junk and watch TV. This kind of day made me feel guilty before I was working full-time. But now I know that it’s much-earned. Saturday is our Shabbat.

Around 11:30 I called my mom. We talked for a while, then she spoke with each of the kids. It wasn’t until about 12:15 that we got off the phone. I looked outside and noticed a lot of traffic going by. I also noticed a lot of water on the road. Also, there was grass! I haven’t seen grass in months. Literally, months. It’s not been snowing since November, but it did stay cool enough to keep the snow cover on the ground. Yesterday the high was about 52. Today it must’ve been about 60.

That seems pretty typical for a Georgia February. Not so for an Idaho February. According to my friend Heather, it’s usually below 0 this time of year. ZERO. So. With that accumulation of snow and the unseasonably warm weather, the snow had to melt. And it did. Causing the creek beds to rise and flood.

When I got off the phone with my mom, Trey had a message from a friend on his phone asking if we were ok. Were we ok? Sure. Why wouldn’t we be? Trey walked outside to see what he was talking about and then we really saw it. We saw this.

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Notice the beautiful blue sky. It’s been a minute since we saw one of those! The yards across the street from us were ponds and rising with each passing moment. I’m a little special and don’t know how to post videos, but I wish I could. The water was just rushing down that alley right there. Down the street, across from the Catholic church was the worst that I could see. People were coming and going desperately trying to stop it. I guess at some point someone alerted the County. Again, it’s isolated so all I know is what I know. But, word of mouth started spreading and people started showing up to put sand in bags, then load the sand bags into backs of trucks, then drive around the area to see who they could help. And that’s pretty much what happened the rest of the day.

Everyone pitched in. People who live outside of town came into town to help out. I’ve never seen so many people drive by our house. It was all very exciting. Here’s the back of a truck I took a picture of. They were so sweet and stopped to ask us what we needed. Our yard was miraculously dry, so we pointed them in another direction.

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As the waters continued to rise, Trey and I got more concerned. It started to cross the street and easily could have continued rising to our home. What’s more is that our bedroom is lower than the rest of the house. My inclination is to blow this kind of thing off, but I learned my lesson last year with Snowmageddon. I under-reacted and Trey was my hero by going into action (read more here). So this time, when he said “go” I WENT! We moved everything up. Save the books! Save Grandma Doris’ antiques! For the love of everything holy, SAVE THE WIFI ROUTER!

This is what our house looked like around 3:00 this afternoon.

Here are some other photos from my day.

While Trey and our neighbors rallied together to do what they could, this was what the sidewalk by our house looked like. Just across the street from the flood. Maybe, 20 feet.

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I took this picture of Sean as we anticipated having to leave the house for the night. I just think it looks like something you’d see in a National Geographic. It could be captioned something like, “Local boy Sean Sapp, 8, looks across the street as the Kid’s Creek flood approaches his own house.”

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Around 5:30, things started looking a bit better on our street. The sandbags were doing their job and the waters were beginning to recede a bit. By that point the kids were going a little stir crazy. I (who’ve done so great on my second Whole 30 this week) was not able to cook, because we still can’t use much water at this time, ironically. So, Trey picked up pizza. It’s my favorite, from Last Chance, The Rancher.

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Not exactly “Whole 30,” but I do feel like I earned it after this day!

So, the house is dry and safe at the moment. Everyone is in their own beds tonight, and for that I am thankful. But, we’re not completely back to normal yet. There is still lots of stuff “up,” just in case things take a turn for the worse and we have to make a quick exit.

I don’t know what’s going on in the rest of Salmon, like I said. I’m looking forward to reading the paper (it comes out weekly). I know that Trey was in the home of a family we know that was a foot deep in water. I also know that I’ve never seen a community come together quite like this. Everyone pitched in. But, keep praying for Salmon. I’ll keep updating. And let’s continue to be amazed and in awe of this picture:

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A Day in the WESTERN WILD (Big Sky Country Edition)

I hate to brag, but this is going to be a very pretty post. Because today was a very pretty day. Because God is just cool like that and He made all this stuff and it’s beautiful. We drove to Dillon, Montana. Nobody enjoys a road trip like Trey and I (our kids definitely don’t). We drove over Bannack Pass on the way there and Lost Trail Pass on the way back. We saw snow, clouds, sun, rainbows, animals, historical sights, people, new places (I’m definitely a fan of the grocery store there. It’s SAFEway, not SAVEway like we have here. And quite a difference. Wal-Mart is to Saveway as Target is to Safeway), mountains, rock formations, and ice fishermen.

We fit a lot into this day! And we will definitely be heading to Dillon again one day!

Other Happenings

It’s been more than six weeks since I last blogged. And if you think that’s shameful you should’ve seen the laundry pile I finally managed to fold the night before Trey’s parents got here last week! Haha! I think they may have called DFACS and the Health Department and Dr. Phil if they’d seen it. There’s just nothing like your in-laws coming to stay that will make you act like a grown up.

So, anyway. It’s been a while. Most of what was going on revolved around Christmas. But, there have been a few other things going on, so this is my phone dump post.

For instance, there was that time that Jacob (Bob and Kelly’s teenage son) fell asleep during small group, so obviously I had to document the moment.

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I googled Festivus. Because I am very important and spend my time doing really important things.

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Buttercup got really mad at me when she couldn’t figure out how to get back inside…

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We bought half a pig. It’s local. It’s delish.

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We’ve done a few breathing treatments, but finally seem to have everyone under control.

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We’ve loved on Azzy. She’s basically the cutest little baby girl this side of the Mississippi.

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We’ve wrestled. Obviously.

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Big Mommy and Big Daddy made it back to Salmon! It takes a WHOLE lotta love to get that Florida girl to head north during January. Usually she gets as far south as Big Daddy will take her, but she loves her some Sapplings, so here they are. She had a birthday too!

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I love her cake. The gal from Saveway does an amazing job. We went with a Frozen theme for this cake. It seemed very apropos.

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The boys had their first hockey tournament last weekend. It was awesome! They now love it! Before the tournament, they weren’t quite sure. But, they love it! And SEAN SCORED A GOAL! MY GEORGIA BOY SCORED A GOAL! IN HOCKEY!IMG_3510

Celyn had her baby! His name is Dalton and he is the cutest, Ganskeist thing I’ve ever seen. I love him. So does his big sister.

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So, here’s a cool story. At one of my last piano recitals in high school I played a really beautiful song. For years I had it memorized, but as the years have come and gone I could only remember a few measures. At some point I couldn’t even remember the name of the song, but every time I saw a piano, I would sit down and play those few measures. Last year Trey bought me a second-hand piano book. I was a bit of a sissy and thought it looked too hard so I hadn’t really played from it much. Last week I sat down and was flipping through. I started playing this song, Solfegietto. It was THE song! I was so excited to be reunited with it after all these years. Thanks, babe!

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I had a birthday! 34th to be exact. It was such a great day! My coworkers are THE best! I arrived to cards, candy, gifts. And Trey had the most beautiful flower arrangement delivered to the clinic! I had wanted that to happen since I saw other gals getting flowers over the past few months. And I never even mentioned it. You gotta love that self control! When I got home that night, he had picked up dinner from Bertram’s. The kids served us. Last weekend we went out with Heather and Jodi (grownups ONLY) to celebrate mine and Heather’s January birthdays.

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Madeline and Lexie have been face-timing. It’s when Madeline giggles the most. It’s awesome.

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Most Sunday nights we eat popcorn for dinner. We fancy.

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We’ve snuggled. Duh.

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We’ve selfied.

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Butters continues to be awesome. Some incredibly inconsiderate people have implied that she has gained some weight as of late. But, that is offensive. She is sturdy. And doing what she has to in order to survive the extreme temperatures here. Haters gonna hate, Butters.

I got a much-needed haircut. Which is always terrifying in a new place… But, I love it! The girls want theirs cut now too!

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So there. January’s almost over and I’m not sure how that happened. I’ve genuinely loved our winter so far. But, I won’t be sad whenever spring decides it wants to get here, either!

The Christmas SEASON

The Christmas Season was a bit of a whirlwind this year. Some of it got away from me a bit (ahem, Advent activities) and some of it we were really able to savor and enjoy. I dreaded working on Christmas Eve but that wasn’t nearly as awful as working the day AFTER Christmas!

Here’s the first gallery:

So, the Advent activities I had planned were kept over from the last few years, and apparently geared to a stay-at-home mom with kids that are mostly not in school yet. Not true for me this year! So, the actual activities got away from me, but we did do some of them. And we read the Scripture every night and the kids got their piece of candy, so it wasn’t a complete failure. I’ve already overhauled the activities for next year and hope they will work better for this working mommy!

Also, in this gallery are some pictures of other things we did in December. We love celebrating Hanukah every year. And we had the most fun progressive dinner Christmas party with our small group! We hosted the appetizers portion. On a side note, I’ve decided I’m kind of like Cher in Mermaids. I could live off of party food. Pastor Mike drove our small group around town in his pick up and it was a BLAST!

We also managed to get out of town for a night to Idaho Falls. Trey found the most amazing hotel with a beautiful indoor pool. The room was a suite, so Trey and I had a room ALL to ourselves!

I think one of my favorite parts of the entire season was the kids’ Christmas play at the Tendoy School. It was just like what you see in the old movies, with the curtains pulling back and the spotlight on the stage, and there are the little kids in cardboard Christmas tree cutouts! It was precious!

Madeline may have stolen the show that night! I was so proud of how into she was! She did the redneck voice, she wasn’t nervous, she memorized a million lines. She was HILARIOUS! And Sean was amazing too! It was just a great night.

And here’s the last Christmas gallery. Christmas Eve and Christmas day. I prayed like a little kid in Georgia for a white Christmas. It was my one consolation that I wouldn’t be with family. And Christmas Eve around noon it started coming down. And it was a BEAUTIFUL snow. I worked until 2:00 on Christmas Eve. That was kind of fun, actually. Madeline and I went out and bought a few last minute gifts and then we all got ready and went to LRCC for the Christmas Eve service. It was really beautiful and the drive was amazing… snowy!

Later that night, several of our friends (including our pastor) delivered the kids’ swing set. In the snow. On Christmas Eve. It is very humbling to have friends like that.

Christmas Day we spent around the house. We opened gifts (sheesh did we open gifts!), we ate, and we played. That afternoon we drove out to Heather’s parents’ house for Christmas dinner. They have basically adopted my kids as their own grandkids and we affectionately refer to them as Nanny Dawn and Papa. They live in the most beautiful place, right on the creek! The kids (and dads) went sledding and the old ladies (me, Charli, Heather, and Jorja) stayed inside where it was warm. I didn’t get many pictures there, because I just wanted to soak it all up and enjoy it. The kids, who had been so sad we weren’t with family, left saying “this was the best day ever!”

So, it was an amazing Christmas. It was different, for sure. But, it was good! We are blessed in deed.

Charli’s Big News!

Girlfriend is no longer a thumb-sucker! I just have to brag on my girl, because I’m so proud of her.

It started a few months ago. Madeline quit sucking her thumb when she was about 4, so it only seemed fair that Charli would have to do the same (even though she’s my baby and the temptation was there to let her go until she went to college). With Madeline it was freakishly easy. We put socks on her hands, she never took them off at night and within a couple of weeks she was done. But, Charli is not nearly as compliant as Madeline, so I really anticipated a long, hard battle!

Anyway, a few months ago we started allowing thumb sucking only in bed, to help her go to sleep. She immediately complied! No fussing, no sneaking, no cheating. Her daycare teacher didn’t even know she sucked her thumb until I mentioned it one day!

So, about a month ago I started talking to her about how she’s a big girl now so pretty soon we wouldn’t even let her suck her thumb at night. We talked about it every night and she even started to look forward to it!

A couple of weeks ago when I put her to bed I put socks on her hands. I never expected her to leave them on all night… but she did! And has every night for a couple of weeks! I think it’s safe to say that she’s done. She goes to sleep without the socks or thumb now!

I still can’t believe how well she handled it. So proud of my big girl!

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It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Christmas!

Well, this Christmas season is off with a BANG! We’ve been doing all of the traditional things and it’s been so fun.

First, there were the decorations!

I was so glad my parents were able to help with putting up the tree.

Here are some other decorations around the house:

Secondly, there’s Advent!

This particular tradition was started by Trey’s mom. For years, every Sunday leading up to Christmas we light a candle, read Scripture, and receive a gift. We also do a Scripture reading, activity, and piece of candy each night in our home. That’s what the bags are for. I love the first Advent Sunday, because Trey’s parents give us money to pick out gifts from the Samaritan’s Purse catalogue. These gifts go to support missionaries, projects, and the less fortunate all over the world. Each kid picks out a specific gift. It’s so fun! And Big Mommy didn’t miss a beat! We received a package in the mail the other day with all four of our Advent Sunday gifts/activities.

Third, is the weather!

It’s snowed several times already and that’s been fun. It just makes everything look so beautiful. It’s also been cool. Honestly, 35 here feels about like 50 in Georgia, so it’s been really comfortable. What I’ve really enjoyed has been the clouds, fog, and frost. I wish these pictures did the frost justice. It’s so pretty! Every morning lately when we wake up, everything is kind of gray and silver and sparkly. All of the tree limbs, the grass, everything! IMG_3239 IMG_3240

I love this picture I took driving down Main St. the other day! The cute little town, the trees on the hill, the cloud, and then the snow on the mountain.

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Fourth, the parties!

We’ve already got a couple of Christmas parties under our belts.

The hospital and clinic host a party for all of the employees’ kids. I took the older three on Thursday night, and they had a blast!

Celyn planned a Christmas party at SVBC that was amazing! It was called An Evening in Bethlehem and she hit it out of the park! I’ve never seen the Fellowship Hall look so pretty. There was a ton of yummy food, pretty music, and a great speaker. It was so fun and just a great kick-off to the Christmas season!

So, we are in full-on Christmas mode here in Salmon! I am so thankful for my kids this time of year. They make the whole thing so magical. Hope you are all having a merry and bright season as well!

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