December 31, 2009

Y2K plus 10 = Happy New Year!

In just a few hours, it'll be 2010. The biggest year of my life so far will be over and we'll have to say that Mac was born "last year" when people ask. Unbelievable!

The last twelve months have flown by in a blur of exciting news, doctor's visits, ultrasounds, epidurals (well, just the one and only for about 10 minutes!), late-night feedings and hastily-purchased holiday gifts. Whew!

We'll always remember 2009 as the year we celebrated our second anniversary, survived the flu and, most importantly, brought home our sweet baby boy.

So many wonderful things are in store for our friends and family in 2010; Bradley and I can't wait to see what unfolds as the new year - and new decade - begins. For my part, I'm just glad to have my three favorite fellas by my side tonight. One big, one little, one furry and all adorable.

Hope you have a wonderful, wonderful New Year, friends! (And I hope that Mac continues a trend and sleeps through the night once more, despite the firecrackers!)


P.S. This little man has gone to bed, but he toasted the new year with a "tux" and a bottle of milk.

December 25, 2009

Merry, merry Christmas!

This year, more than any other, the story of Jesus' birth and the gift of God's perfect Son has had incredible meaning to our family. Looking at our Mac, a sweet blessing but still a human little boy, and knowing that God sent his only child to be crushed - it's overwhelming.

I am so thankful this Christmas for the gift of our son, of my incredible husband and of our loving families - but most of all for the gift of God's Son and the opportunity to celebrate his birth this Christmas.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."
-Isaiah 9:6

Have a safe, warm, wonderful Christmas, everyone!!

Bradley, Anne, Mac and Blue

December 24, 2009

Precious Little Elfin Kristin


Mimi and Grandpa (my parents) have just left and the boys and I are now preparing for Christmas Eve service. I took a moment to catch upon some long overdue blog reading and came upon this video on My Blonde Reality.

Could Kristin Chenoweth be any cuter? Sweeter? Or more talented?

The only Christmas connection I can find is that she's just about as tiny as a Christmas elf - and maybe as happy too. I'd love to have dinner with this girl!

December 23, 2009

Valentine's Day

Don't worry, I'm not skipping Christmas! I just saw the trailer for Valentine's Day and it is such a deja vu moment... Wasn't it just last Valentine's Day that I saw a chock-full-of celebs, criss-crossing characters, lucky-and-unlucky in love movie called He's Just Not That Into You?

Valentine's Day clearly has my name written all over it, but I wonder if anyone else finds the star-studded cast and rom-com feel to be a little reminiscent of the February 2009 date movie du jour?

Take a peek for yourself:

December 18, 2009

(Not) Dreaming of a White Christmas

Am I the only person who's anti-snow at the moment? We're supposed to travel to Columbia in the morning to see my family and I'm so hopeful that this wintry mix will disappear (magically) by then. For now, though, I'm going to enjoy a delightful Friday evening with all three of my guys. With my return to work getting closer by the minute (the Monday after Christmas), I'm treasuring all of these moments.

Our plans for tomorrow may be uncertain, but our cozy pre-Christmas Friday agenda looks something like this: laundry, movies, a hot batch of Christmas cider, maybe a nap, some babytime and Christmas tunes. Not quite a night on the town, but it's heavenly to me.

Our plans to meet with Mac's teachers and have lunch with friends were quickly derailed by the icy morning we had, but I'm so grateful to have this perfect evening to make up for it. Mac has had a tummy bug all week, which has made me a little more sleep-deprived than usual and so grateful for some time to lounge around.

Tomorrow Mac will meet some more family members and we'll have the first of our Christmas gatherings for the year. Exciting! (And unbelievable how quickly this month has flown by.)

Gotta run check on my holiday punch, my mom's Christmas tradition. It makes the whole house smell like Christmas - apple cider, orange juice, cranberry juice, cloves, cinnamon and a few other secret treats go into it. Just as yummy to drink as it is to smell!

A quick snapshot from today as Blue guides Mac in the art of enjoying tummy time. He's an expert at lying around!

December 15, 2009

A Few Favorite Things

Dressing up with my husband for Sloan Christmas party number one - wish you could see my fabulous red heels in this shot!

Catching up with the girls at Sloan's Christmas party number two. SO nice to feel like a grown up, but it was tough to hit the town two nights in a row. Mac barely recognized me without jeans and flats on!

A sweet baby boy to come home to - wearing an outfit I've been looking forward to seeing on him since our first shower last summer. (And the grandparents who kept him two nights in a row as Christmas parties kept us busy. So thankful!)

Kiehl's Coconut Lip Balm - Kiehl's #1 is my very favorite lip balm; I keep a tub of it on my bedside table and never travel without it. I just ordered this coconut scented version and can barely contain myself! I am so tempted to sprint to the beach and grab a pina colada that only the gray, chily weather is holding me back. Run to and get your own; everywhere else is all sold out!

Honorable Mentions:
  • Playing James Taylor, Josh Groban and Amy Grant's Christmas albums all day long.
  • A pediatrician's office who squeezes us in with an hour's notice after an Exorcist-style evening - I'll spare you any further details. Mac is currently napping off in his swing and I hope to do the same soon!
  • Almay eye makeup remover pads - because I have dark enough circles on my own!
  • Scarves in every color - part warmth, part accessory, part baby stain coverer. Love 'em!
  • Laughing out loud! I spent so much time chatting with the girls at a Saturday night cocktail party that I barely saw Bradley. As we passed each other halfway through, I said to him, "B, we're going this way but I'll be back soon!" A few quizzical looks later, someone asked me if he minds that I call him "Beaver." Yes, I'm sure he would. Going to work on my enunciation next time!
  • Sending and receiving Christmas packages. Are we supposed to open them on Christmas Day? Because I'm definitely not waiting...sorry, Santa!
Hope y'all are filling up these final Advent days with some of your favorite things, too. Check out my sweet friend Kristen's favorite beauty things and enter to win a favorite thing of Erin's (aka Blue Eyed Bride) on her blog, too.

December 7, 2009

What've I been up to?

Watching this two-month-old grow (while staring intently at Christmas tree lights)

Reading to this particularly adorable little face (and reliving
my childhood through some favorite books from way back when*)

Helping this guy recover from his first set of shots (hated the tears but didn't mind the snuggling!)

Chasing this smile (and watching college football)

Kissing these cheeks (and trying to squeeze in a nap myself)

Squeezing these thighs (and working on my own at the gym)

Introducing our boy to some precious small group friends (Ashley and Kerri Grace) at our annual Christmas party.

Decking the halls (and counting my blessings)

**Remember the Berenstain Bears? When did they have a new baby? A sweet friend gave us a Berenstain Bears Christmas book in which Brother, Sister, Mama and Papa are joined by a baby named Honey Bear. Hmm? How old am I that I've missed an entire generation of bears?

November 27, 2009

A Holiday to Be Thankful For

Remember when I thought life just couldn't get any better? I was wrong.

This Thanksgiving holiday has been absolutely perfect from start to finish. My mom, Mac's Mimi, came to stay with us Monday and Tuesday and took laundry folding and nursery organizing to a whole new level. Picking up our house and setting up for Thanksgiving, plus running a few last minute errands, was so much easier because she came.

Bradley's family came to our house for Thanksgiving this year, so Mac got to spend time with his Nana and Papa, plus he got to meet his Uncle Todd and Aunt Laura for the very first time. What a treat! A few weeks in to his dairy-free, Zantac-full lifestyle, he's feeling so much better and everyone is thrilled. What a wonderful, low-key Thanksgiving we had - and what a happy baby we shared with our family. Such a blessing!

Mac's cute outfit is thanks to sweet Meredith at the Pink Poppyseed.

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, two of my closest friends came to visit and meet Mac. Sarah, from Chicago, drove up from Columbia to munch on Chick-Fil-A (don't judge - I suggested it because Chicago is sadly CFA-free) and catch up. Our lunch was Mac's first foray into fine dining (or any dining, for that matter, besides the homebound kind) and he did wonderfully! We're so, so grateful he's feeling better.

Sarah was so glad to see a little SC sunshine!

Later today, Charles and Kristen came over from their family celebration to see our sweet boy and chat about their upcoming trip to Charleston and the return drive back down to Florida. (Plus a little friendly Clemson/Carolina banter.) How I wish we were all neighbors!

Me, Mac and Aunt K

Just as wonderful, B has been home lots this week - helping out, enjoying some much-needed down time with me and Mac and putting the finishing touches on an unparalleled holiday.

(Plus Mac slept in this morning, going back to sleep after his 6:30 feeding. Hallelujah! And with two four-hour stretches last night, he only woke once between 10:30 and 6:30 to eat. This is big news, people! Let's hope it continues...)

Mac dreaming of the delicious turkey he can enjoy once he has teeth!

Hoping you had a wonderful Turkey Day as well and that you're ready to kick off the Christmas season with a long list of blessings to count!

November 23, 2009

What Makes Me Happy

The Wife of a Fisherman tagged me in a fabulous What Makes Me Happy here goes!

Ten Things That Make Me Happy:
1. Bradley's number on my caller ID, his key in the door, his head on the pillow next to mine
2. The sound and sight of sweet Mac sleeping
3. Sunday morning worship service (We're ready to go back!)
4. That precious clean baby smell
5. Adorable Blue keeping watch over me and Mac when B isn't around
6. The check-in phone calls from family and friends, letting me know I'm thought and prayed for always
7. Chick-Fil-A sweet tea
8. Mashed potatoes (just tried my first dairy-free batch...interesting!)
9. The thought of Mac's first Christmas
10. Seeing far-off friends after way too long apart

November 22, 2009

A List and a Ramble

I'm not able to think too clearly these days - there are lots of scattered trains of thought and half-finished sentences. It's only fitting, then, that I make a few lists (my favorite form of communication and sanity) rather than writing a full-blown Sunday afternoon blog post. Hope your (rainy) Sundays are going beautifully, friends!

I'll first steal Erin from Blue Eyed Bride's post idea and make an honest list of bullet points for you...

  • Mac is about 11 pounds and I feel like he produces about that much laundry each day. I've never washed so many clothes in my life - add to that two adults' clothes, linens and towels and WOW. We're keeping Downy in business.

  • Yesterday's football game in Tigertown was SUCH a treat. I loved seeing so many friends, watching CJ Spiller's last home game and having a little "grown up" time with B.

  • I also missed Mac lots - he spent the day just 20 minutes away with his grandparents but we flashed his pictures around so much he might as well have been with us!

  • This Thanksgiving holiday week is going to be such a whirlwind - cleaning, cooking, visiting, cleaning more (the baby clutter spreads quickly!), feeding (a baby and grown ups), changing (just the baby, of course), and squeezing lots of loved ones.

  • This eating every three hours pattern does slow down, right? RIGHT? I love looking at Mac and snuggling with him, but the middle of the night feedings (we usually do get one 4 stretch) leave me 2 or 2.5 hours of sleep at a time. Geesh. Seven weeks into this and I'm a little cloudy-headed to say the least!

  • I'm heading back to work after Christmas and I'm already worried about how many boxes of Kleenex and hours staring at Mac's pictures I need to plan on for those three days. (Yay for short weeks!) Working moms, any advice?

  • How is it already Christmastime? We're about to decorate and, although I'm excited, my brain stopped calculating time back in's going to be 2010 before I know it.

  • Did I say I can't wait for Thanksgiving? Family, friends and (non-dairy) food - what more could I ask for?

  • I'm tired, it's true. I felt like game day took quite the toll on my senior-citizen self yesterday. I could use a few full (as in eight hours) nights of sleep. But this Thanksgiving, more than ever, I am tremendously grateful. I couldn't stay awake long enough to count all our blessings!

November 18, 2009

Catching Up

1. Mac is six weeks old! Our sweet boy is getting bigger (over ten pounds now!) and cuter by the minute; he's learning to smile and making little noises that just melt us. I can hardly remember what we did without him!

(This is what happens when Mac doesn't want to wake up for his dinner... Precious sleeper courtesy of Steph, Neil and Emery!)
2. B and I will be cheering on our Tigers at the last home game of the season this Saturday. Hooray! Mac will be hanging out with his grandparents - but not before we snap a picture of him in front of Mac's Drive In on our way to the game.

3. I'm finally busting out the tiger stripe J. Crew cardigan I searched most every store in the country for last year - and then never wore. Oops. It's not too late to right a wrong, though, and hopefully the forecast will cooperate with my little sweater!

There's a lot riding on this game, but we'll discuss that later - no need to jinx it now!

4. I made it through six full days without Bradley when he headed up to Montreal last week for work. My mom and mother-in-law each spent some time with me and Mac, but I had two solo nights and survived! (As did Mac, of course...) We were both so happy to have Bradley home again!

5. Thanksgiving's just around the corner. I'm eyeing decorations and counting down the minutes until Mac gets to meet some family and friends who've been loving him from afar these last six weeks. Can't wait!!

Less Fabulous:
1. When Bradley returned from Montreal, I packed up Mac and took him to the airport as a little surprise, thinking we'd be waiting in baggage claim when B came out. Alas, his plane landed early and we missed each other by moments. Sigh.

2. I won't be able to order my very favorite chocolate milkshake when we stop by Mac's Drive In - and my Thanksgiving plate will look a little different this year. It looks like Mac is lactose intolerant, so I'm off of all dairy (wow, it's in everything!) and trying to enjoy the non-dairy options around. Still not sure how my mashed potatoes will turn out with soy milk, but we'll see...

3. If I bite my lip in the exact same spot on more time, I'm pretty sure it'll fall off. And won't that make for some great game day pictures??

4. To my knowledge, there is still NO self-folding laundry machine available. I'm keeping up with the burp cloths, onesies, towels and sheets - it's the folding that's not quite getting done. So don't mind a laundry basket or two of unfolded (but Downy fresh!) clean laundry next time you stop by, friends...

Hope y'all are doing well - I promise to be back with more pictures and chatting soon!


November 5, 2009

Mac is one month old!

One month ago, this very minute, I was checking into the hospital, totally unsure of what was to come. I knew we were about to be induced and imagined that we were twelve or even twenty-four hours away from meeting our sweet boy.

Little did we know that I was already in real-deal labor; I was going to have Mac on October 5th with or without Pitocin's help! Eight hours later, at 8:06 pm, Mac arrived and the last month has been a world-altering blur. I'm still in awe at the unbelievable blessing we've been given.

Happy, happy birthday, Mac! I wish I could list all of the ways you've changed our lives already and made our little family complete. That, however, would require more brainpower than I've got at the moment.

Where is my brain, you'll probably ask one day? Most of it is devoted to feeding and comforting you, reading about how best to take care of you, talking to experts (acid reflux and lactose intolerance are for the birds!) and relying on the support (long-distance and otherwise) of our friends and family. Sometimes squeezing in a nap, but more often catching up on dishes, laundry, baby book reading and, you know, eating my own meals.

We love you tremendously, little man, and can't wait to watch you grow. For now, though, please stay little...I can see you getting bigger every minute. Take your time!! (Except on the sleeping through the night stuff - feel free to do that any ol' time you're ready.)

November 2, 2009

A letter to Daylight Savings Time

Dear Daylight Savings Time,
You're screwing with my mind. I don't enjoy this dark-at-dinnertime nonsense you've thrown my way. I'm not even sure what time it is anymore. When the sun goes down, I feel a sense of pressure - have I done everything I should? is it time for bed? how could this day be over already?

You're making me tired all the time, DST. It's 8:55 and I could easily pass out with a moment's notice.

Yes, I have a newborn who wakes often to eat. (The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, DST.) And yes, I'm sure that contributes to my constant sleepiness. But you, weird time adjustment concept, aren't making it any easier.

How is it that Congress can legislate time? I mean, how full of yourself do you have to be to think you can control when the sun rises and sets? Regardless, can we please switch it back? Longer days make for happier Annes. Or at least one happy Anne -and in this house that's all we really need.

So take that, Daylight Savings Time. Hope you feel the full power of my wrath.

And if this letter is too rambling and incoherent for you to understand, perhaps you had a hand in that, you bringer-of-early-sunsets.

With that, I'm seriously contemplating turning in for the night. (Until, of course, my four-week-old wakes me with a gentle reminder that he's hungry!)

Here's hoping to see some sunshine at dinner without enjoying the Senior Citizens' 4:00 pm special!


I know this must have been cute at the time...

Take a look at the shoes, y'all. The shoes! Weren't these high-powered career gals??

Enjoy a flashback cast shot (that seems to have been jigsaw-puzzled together in Photoshop) of the quirky nineties show Ally McBeal. I remember something about a dancing baby, a coed bathroom - and a lot of pin-thin leading ladies.

There are whispers of an Ally reunion - all I can hope is that they update their wardrobes. Sex and the City from similar years doesn't have this dated a look to it. Guess that's what Patricia Field will do to a show!

Anyhow, back to Babyland! Night, everyone!

November 1, 2009

A new trend in wedding dresses?

Take a look at this piece in a NYT blog about Ivanka Trump's lovely and modest wedding dress. Her new husband, Jared Kushner, is orthodox and Ivanka recently converted, thus the need for something a bit more covered-up. Vera Wang made Ivanka's gown, inspired by Grace Kelly's, and I think it's so pretty!

The bigger question raised, however, is whether or not strapless wedding dresses are on their way out... I can't think of a bride wearing sleeves in the last ten years and am interested to see if my strapless dress wedding photos are soon going to look dated. Thoughts?

P.S. You have to read about the lace on this dress; I bet it was just gorgeous in person. You can see larger and more photos here.

October 29, 2009

Before and After

Before: A family of two: B and I (14 weeks pregnant) enjoying an evening out this past spring.


After: A family of three. Bradley (in costume), Mac (3 weeks) and I make an appearance at Trunk or Treat to support our small group.

(See here for more pictures at the Gaymons' blog. Try to find me and B hiding in the first shot! Our "redneck fishermen" did a great job giving out candy.)

Don't worry about Mac: the festival was outside, no one touched him and we were gone in a flash. I think the fresh air did us good!

Before: I needed eight and a half hours of sleep (in one stretch!) to feel fully rested. Seven and a half was pushing it, but I could cope.
After: Ha ha ha. Really... If I get eight hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, I'm amazed. And it comes in tiny little bits - but I'll take it!

Before: I drank 90 ounces of water a day (Mac must have been floating in there!) and hit the ladies' room at my office more times an hour than anyone should.
After: If I have time to swig a glass of water daily, I'm impressed. Who knew tiny babies could keep you so busy?

Before: I rolled my eyes at people who told me to sleep when the baby sleeps. That must be the most popular piece of advice to give pregnant ladies.
After: I get it. I totally get it. And I understand why people preach it - the laundry, the dishes, the dusting, the watching-your-adorable-baby-sleep - everything gets in the way. Napping when your baby naps could save your sanity. Still working on this...

Before: I waddled to the bathroom multiple times a night.
After: I wake up, incoherent, at Mac's bassinet multiple times a night. Where am I, who's crying and why? It takes a moment to figure it out...this baby must think I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed!

Before: I could have broken our digital camera, I was so against photographing my ever-growing self.
After: I have that same camera in my hands ten times a day, photographing a cute expression or a sweet sleeping baby.

Before: I didn't sympathize with people who lamented about crying babies. If you know they're full, dry and safe, put them down and know you've done your best, right? You can't win 'em all.
After: Again. Ha ha ha. Oh, judgmental Anne. How little you knew about the every-nerve-tells-me-to-fix-him instinct that kicks in when it's your baby.

Before: I loved, loved, loved babies.
After: I love, love, love this boy. Crying, screaming, middle of the night - doesn't matter. I'm amazed at what love (and a little Diet Coke!) has gotten me to do this first month of his life. Give up sleep? Sure! Skip Grey's Anatomy to take 1,000 photos? Absolutely. Pass on blogging because your brain is entirely consumed by feeding, changing, sleeping? Mmm-hmm.

Before: I pictured our son as a beautiful baby boy with a headful of dark hair.
After: I could never have imagined anyone this cute (or this light-haired) being related to me!

Before: I loved my parents.
After: I owe them more thank you notes than my still-numb-from-pregnancy hands could ever write. Who knew how much they did for us when we were little - and to this day?!

Before: I laughed at the hundreds of diapers our lovely friends gave us at baby showers.
After: I worry our son may develop a pack a day (diaper) habit. Whew! Best gift ever, y'all! It really is insane how many they go through. I guess "they" were right all along.

A final thought from Babyland: As busy as everyone is, might I recommend Mac's daily afternoon siesta? He sure looks peaceful - wonder how good we'd feel if we could manage to do the same?
Back to non-baby topics soon, I promise, though the Mac updates won't stop. It's hard to think about much else besides him these days! Thanks for all the love, prayers and good wishes - keep 'em coming!

October 12, 2009

We're here...

And we're busy! (And sleepy and overjoyed and learning so much about our little guy.)

Don't have much time to chat at the moment - or even too much to say besides thank you for all the sweet wishes and prayers. We could definitely use them as we adjust to being new parents and learning how to take care of the cutest baby we know. (Who just happens to be one week old today!)

Blue and his little brother

Packed in for a ride to the pediatrician

Finally with my eyes open!

....and back to sleep.

Hope you're all having wonderful (if rainy) Mondays!


October 6, 2009

Baby Mac is here!!

What a whirlwind the last 36 hours have been! Bradley and I went to the doctor's office yesterday for our regular Monday morning appointment, only to be sent across the street to the hospital. Nine (short and not-so-short) hours later, sweet Mac was in our arms. And let me tell y'all - we're in love.

Sneak a peek at our son, just an hour after he was born! (More details and many more photos to follow, I promise.)
Thank you for your prayers and good wishes - can't wait to introduce each of you to him. He's absolutely precious, such a perfect little boy and a total gift from God. We're overwhelmed with gratitude!!

October 2, 2009

You may get a cavity from watching this....

...but I loved it. Wish I could get Blue and some buddies to sport pajamas and have a peaceful li'l slumber party at our place!

(via PopWatch)

October 1, 2009

A Sneak Peek

Bed rest has given me a lot of time to think about baby Mac - what he'll look like, when he'll get here, exactly how adorable he will be... Bed rest has not, however, given me the ability to do much around the house. (The whole staying in bed thing makes it kind of a challenge.)

Fortunately, Bradley has been an amazing help and I feel very prepared for little Mac to come home with us, whenever that is.

I can't wait to meet the little boy who will wear these clothes!

Here's a sneak peek at one sweet little corner of his nursery. More to come...

September 29, 2009

Coat Crazy

I live in a state where we only really need coats for two and a half months each year. For the other nine and a half months, a light jacket, cardigan, three-quarter sleeved sweater or (most often) an air conditioning unit will suffice.

Nevertheless, when I feel the first shiver of fall, I am overjoyed to start shopping for coats. That's right, coats plural. In entirely impractical colors and over-feminized shapes. This year I'm dying for an eggplant purple coat - and since it hit fifty degrees for about an hour last night, I feel totally justified in my quest.

If I were granted an entire wardrobe of coats, I think it'd include the following:

For football games and strolling through Fall for Greenville next month. (Target)

See above. Go Tigers! (Boden)

A trench for the mid-fall chill...this is the Bow Shoulder version by Juicy.

A dijon-colored corduroy jacket for chilly cubicles and boring jeans and white shirt days. (Gap)

Add in black flats and a scarf, then move to England to reside inside Boden's catalogs forever. They're so happy there!

To be clear, this gorgeous bow-neck coat is red - not garnet. (Red Valentino)

You know I love the purple, if not the price. (Sonia Rykiel)

Imagine this mustard yellow on someone wearing more clothes than this model (wow, cleave) but sporting less of a jaundiced hue than, say, myself. Love the tie belt. (VS. Really!)

An evergreen bargain from Old Navy.

A classic red Ralph Lauren peacoat

Boden offers this in red and purple, too, but I'm loving the contrast of brass buttons on black.

I love a chocolate brown coat, especially this belted one with fuller sleeves. (Mackage)

I know, I know - you're tired of purple already. Last one, I promise. (Boden)

A pretty camel coat with bell sleeves - and a smaller-than-your-mortgage-payment (ahem, Saks) price.
Steal! (Old Navy)

If Old Navy's camel coat is too basic for you, skip the scarf and go with Milly's Darling coat. (Saks, via PIPM)

J. Crew rarely goes wrong with ruffles.

I love this jacket for holiday parties and dull work days alike. (Boden. Yes, again.)

Not Quite an Honorable Mention:

Does anyone really need a silk faille trench coat, Oscar de la Renta? Not to question your judgment, but I envision a trench coat being worn on a cloudy (if not rainy) day. Perhaps I'd just sport your silk faille version indoors??


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