As Of Late

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 | Posted under About Me, School

Hey.

I feel like this post breaks one of those unspoken blogging rules where you’re not supposed to apologize for being really busy and not blogging, or announcing that you’re not going to be blogging for awhile and how sorry you are.

Well, I’m sorry.

But I’ve been really busy.

I started the spring semester at school last week. On the docket for this term are Foundations of Family Therapy, Counseling Theories and Techniques, and Psychopathology (a fancy term for “how to diagnose people”). I had a false start with that last class. I registered, but then at last minute read the syllabi for the different classes, and decided to switch to different section that sounded more well-rounded and challenging. I had that class last Thursday and decided that the professor would annoy the living daylights out of me if I had to listen to her for thirteen weeks! So I switched back to the class I had originally signed up for.

I had that class tonight and this professor is so much better! I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t like him either, but I’m grateful that wasn’t the case. And I’m not the only one who didn’t like the first professor — I noticed a girl from my class had switched into this class too! I also recognized a bunch of faces from last semester, so that was nice. We’re kind of like a cohort, but a big cohort, so there are some repeated faces along with new faces for each class.

I’m also working about twenty hours a week now at Pier 1. It’s going good. I like the staff and I mostly like the work, although retail is difficult, of course. I’m not working at actual locations for the running store during the winter, because it’s so slow, but I’m still helping to manage their social media and newsletter. In March, I’ll start getting more hours again, which will be great.

I’m not exercising as much as I had been in the past, but my weight seems to be pretty stable in the low 190s. Definitely still higher than I want it to be, but significantly lower than where I was at this time last year. I feel like I’ve been doing a little too much of boredom eating, which is sort of my thing. I’m not really an emotional eater because I usually don’t have an appetite when I’m really upset. But sometimes I use food as just “something to do,” ya know? It’s annoying and I need to work on it.

(Now excuse me while I eat this unnecessary bowl of popcorn.)

I just finished my first book of the year! Of course, I started it in December, so it’s not really that impressive. I read Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. It’s for the postal book club I’m in. It was pretty good, although the author was primarily focused on the lives of mothers, which I am not. However, since I plan to be a mother someday, I still took notes. But it just wasn’t as relevant for my life as I had hoped, which was a bummer.

We leave for Mexico in three days, and I’m so very, very excited about it. A little nervous, because Erik and I are debating whether or not we should rent a car so we can have a little freedom. Read some horror stories about that, but also a lot of stories from people who have had no issues. Eep! I’ll let you know next week what we decided to do and how it paned out!

Any last minute advice for these first time Mexico travelers? 

 

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This Week.

Friday, January 16th, 2015 | Posted under This Week

d8556eb96ecb54962990e0ec9630b93cThe high of my week was going to Modo Yoga. I finally registered the gift card I got for Christmas with the studio, so now I can use the MindBodyOnline app to reserve space in their class. I already use it for Orangetheory Fitness and it is super easy to use. I can look at what times are available and reserve a spot, but I can also cancel if something comes up. No need to call the studio or show up wondering if they’ll have space for me. Do you use MindBodyOnline?

The low of my week was my first class of Psychopathology. I did not like the professor’s lecturing style and so I’m going to try to switch into a different class. Hoping it works!

Something on the internet I loved was this article on Minneapolis. They highlighted our neighborhood as an example of good development, which was nice to see since we just bought a house there!

For my workouts, I completed two workouts at Orangetheory Fitness, one class at Modo Yoga and one class at Yoga Sol.

The best money I spent was on coffee. I’m not kidding. I had to wake up super early yesterday morning for work, and didn’t get enough sleep the night before. I got a venti cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso at Starbucks and it perked me right up!

My plans this weekend include a weekend seminar class on counseling LGBTQ families, working at Pier 1 and seeing my friend Laura from New York, her husband, and their baby boy! She gave birth after we moved so this is my first time seeing him. So excited!

 

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Currently.

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 | Posted under Currently

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ReadingOverwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. It’s the book for the postal book club that Kathleen is hosting. I’m almost finished with it, which is a good thing because I have to send it off in a couple days! I can’t say I’m too crazy about it. It was an interesting concept but the author focused to much on the experiences of mothers, of which I am not. There were some applicable takeaways but for the most part, it was just a lot of things I can look forward to! Or not.

Starting… classes for the semester! I already had Foundations of Family Therapy on Monday and I’m so glad I reworked my schedule so that I can take it. She is a really funny professor, and the Director of the program to boot so she’s a good person to know!

Writing… a couple new articles for a diabetes magazine, called Diabetes Forecast. One of the articles is actually three short profiles of three of my friends, so it’s super fun to write. I love when I can use my connections with the diabetes publications to showcase some of my favorite people. And I’m sitting on pins and needles waiting to see if another pitch of mine gets accepted. Keep your fingers crossed!

Feeling… quite a bit sore today. I had another chiropractic adjustment because of my bum spine and instead of making my back feel all happy and wonderful, I’m in a lot of pain! No idea what happened.

Watching… Downtown Abbey and eagerly anticipating the return of The Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Also needing to catch up on Sister Wives!

Practicing… a lot more yoga lately. I’m still not comfortable calling myself a “yogi” or anything, but I probably go about once a week right now. I have a traditional yoga studio nearby and a hot yoga studio a little further away, so I have my options for what is going to be convenient whenever the mood strikes me. I’m still going to OrangeTheory fitness two to three days a week. I’m really excited to see they are expanding. They just opened a studio in Manhattan this month, and they are opening one in Portland later this spring.

Excited… about Mexico! We leave a week from Saturday.

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What I Struggle With

Friday, January 9th, 2015 | Posted under Personal Essays

STRUGGLETaking a cue from Lisa and Nora with my own little (ha!) list of things I struggle with. Baring the soul is where it’s at.

 

Being Patient – I know patience is a virtue, but it’s a skill I have not yet mastered. I’m not just talking about little things, like waiting for the light to turn green. I’m impatient about big stuff. Like how much longer it will take before I’ll be a licensed therapist. How long we have to wait before we’re ready to have kids. How long it takes to save up money to remodel our house. I don’t like waiting (it’s probably why I’m in debt). I want what I want when I want it (yesterday!).

Feeling Like I Fit In – I often feel like I don’t really fit in. Whether it’s other bloggers, people in the diabetes community, co-workers or acquaintances at church. It always feels like everyone has a “group” and I’m just, you know, hanging out. It’s like if I’m already there, great, but people aren’t going out of their way to include me in things. For example, there’s a diabetes conference coming up in March that I’m not going to, and I’m pretty sure no one’s going to wonder about me. It’s not that I don’t have friends and it’s not that I think people hate me. But a lot of time I just don’t feel included or invited and it feels so childish and immature to talk about this kind of stuff, but it’s definitely something I still struggle with.

Missing New York - I don’t think this needs much explanation. I struggle with missing NYC. It’s not that I hate Minneapolis, but it just isn’t a place I imagined I would be living and I still struggle a little with the fact that we live here now. I definitely experience more homesickness (for New York) here than I did when I moved from Oregon to the East Coast and I think it’s mostly because I really wanted to move and live there. I didn’t really want to move to Minneapolis. I understand why were here, and it’s not a bad city (really, it’s not, -35 windchill notwithstanding). My feelings about this are complicated and I struggle with that.

Letting Go - Sort of in a similar vein, I struggle with letting go of things that happened in the past. Decisions I made. Things I did or didn’t do. Things I said or didn’t say. I know we all have those “what if…” moments. I try to not live my everyday life with regret, but it’s hard not to think about what could have been if I had handled things differently at various stages of my life.

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Goodbye December, Hello January!

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 | Posted under Monthly Check-In

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Already a full week into January (and 2015!) and I’m finally getting around to posting the monthly update.

In December, I… 

Visited Oregon! For the first time in more than two years, I returned to my homestate. My trip was absolutely lovely. It didn’t rain every day. I saw a lot of my childhood holiday favorites. We made cookies and watched the Muppet Christmas Carole. I scored big in the present department. And I didn’t have school or work for seven uninterrupted days. It was bliss.

Got a 4.0 in grad school! I finished my classes with flying colors and scored my first 4.0 in the history of ever. I was (and am!) very, very happy about that.

Worked a ton. Holidays in retail. Always a joy…

Saw my diabetes doctor. My A1C went up, but not too much so there’s no cause for concern. Just need to be more vigilant and careful with the changes I make. I also talked to her about my recent gluten-free challenge and she had an idea about what was causing my symptoms. Basically, she thinks the medication I’ve been taking is causing some digestion issue and that I should lower the dose I’m taking. It does make sense since the symptoms started right after I increased my dose. It could be that the dose is too much for my body to handle, not that the medication itself is bad for me.

 

In January, I will…

Try to go back on gluten. I will test it out in a couple weeks after I’ve spent some time on the lower dose of my medication. We’ll see if my body reacts. My endocrinologist thinks eliminating the gluten just mediated the effects of the medication and that on a lower dose, there won’t be any need. Would also explain why the symptoms never fully went away!

Head back to school. Class starts next week! This semester I’m taking Counseling Theories & Techniques, Foundation of Marriage and Family Therapy, Psychopathology, and a weekend seminar on LGBT Families. Not that I think I’ll have a lot of cases with LGBT families, but I think it will be interesting.

Do a yoga challenge. One of my yoga studios (oh yeah, I’m the girl with two yoga studios!) is hosting a January challenge where we’re supposed to take 15 classes in January. Not entirely sure I’ll make that many, but I’m going to try!

Go to Mexico! I AM SO EXCITED. IT’S -30 WITH WIND OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW. Basically, I need to be in Mexico yesterday.

 

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Goals and Themes for 2015

Monday, January 5th, 2015 | Posted under About Me

It’s another year, another opportunity for goal-setting.

I don’t know how I feel about it though. I think I kind of suck with goal-setting and I’m not entirely sure I want to make a list. I feel like the last couple of times I’ve written out goals, I’ve never bothered to really track and keep myself accountable with any of them. I made a list of 30 things I want told do before I’m thirty (which is in — eep — seven months from tomorrow!). So far I’ve only completed five of them: running a half-marathon, visiting Oregon, paying off some debt, getting a 4.0 in grad school and lowering my A1C below 7%.

But there are a few things we won’t be doing: we’re not going to Europe (Mexico instead!) and we probably won’t do both Nashville and NYC (or even either, for that matter). I won’t be going on a missions trip and I probably won’t do a marathon or go to a blogger conference. I might learn to ice skate or cross-country ski, but potentially not. Some of the other items like making fudge, losing weight, and skydiving are still possibilities.

It’s tricky making goals because I feel like I always make goals that I “should” at the beginning of the year. The goals that I really stick with are made randomly throughout the year, like when I started running in August 2012. So it seems kind of ridiculous to make a list of goals or resolutions or whatever you want to call them (to me, goals are the same as resolutions because by making a goal you are resolving to do something).

There are a few things I’d like to do this year. I’d like to keep losing weight. I’d like to run a marathon. I’d like to travel more. I’d like to pay off debt and save money. I’d like to develop my relationships with people, both with my husband and with friends. I’d like to keep exercising regularly, getting faster at running, more flexible in yoga, and more toned and stronger at Orangetheory. I’d like to keep doing well in school.

They aren’t really measurable. They don’t have deadlines. There aren’t any strategies involved in accomplishing them. But they are doable. In fact, I’m already doing all of them to some degree, so I suppose this year is about just doing more.

Growing. Improving. Advancing.

I think that’s the general theme for this year. I won’t really be starting anything ground-breaking. I’m not making major shifts in my life. And that’s nice. I think that’s part of what turning 30 is all about. I’ve done soul-searching and exploration in my twenties. Not that there won’t be more soul-searching and exploration in my thirties and beyond, but I feel like it’s more like honing in on the specifics of what I’ve discovered. I know what like and what I don’t like. I know who I am. Now it’s just about becoming a better, more refined version of that.

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The Week

Friday, January 2nd, 2015 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was hanging out with friends! We had dinner with Erik’s co-worker’s on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday we spent time with our next door neighbors at their New Year’s Eve party.

The low of my week was feeling sick when we went to have dinner at my mother in law’s. Not sure what was wrong but it totally ruined the evening and we ended up leaving early.

A blog post I loved was Kerri’s big announcement on New Year’s!

For my workouts, I completed a three mile run! Yep, that’s the only workout I managed to squeeze in. And it was outside! It was a balmy (haha) 29 degrees yesterday so I went out for a run around the neighborhood. There were some patches of snow that my Yaktrax probably would have been good for, but for the most part it was shoveled so I just went with my regular shoes. I layered up pretty good — I think getting ready for my run took nearly as long as the run itself!

The best money I spent was new glasses! I’ll have pictures as soon as they come in!

My plans this weekend include working. I’m working 6 freaking days in a row! Ugh. Not really doing anything too special besides that, but who knows? Something fun might turn up.

 

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End of Another Year.

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014 | Posted under Personal Essays

It’s the last day of another year.

I thought about recapping the year with some kind of meme or survey. But I don’t really feel like doing a detailed recap of the past year. Not that it was a bad year. In fact, it was probably one of the better years. 2013 was a pretty great year, actually, minus a little hiccup with a condo we tried to buy. If that had gone through, 2014 would have looked very different.

Because we lost the condo, we reevaluated our life on the East Coast and came to the decision that it probably wasn’t really for us after all. We were in Minnesota on this day last year, with Erik spending most of his time at interviews, or preparing for them. By the time we went back to New York, he had a job offer, and two more came after that. We were in Minnesota as residents by the end of the month.

It happened entirely faster that I had anticipated and I think that was the most difficult thing about the year. The speed in which the move happen. It was like plunging into icy cold waters all at once. Literally — the schools were closed the day we arrived because of windchills below negative 20! It was a shock to the system. I still sometimes think to myself when driving around, “I can’t believe I actually live here…” and not in the happy-wistful way that I felt when I walked around the streets of Manhattan. More like a state of disbelief.

But we had a good year.

We saw a lot of Minnesota through little weekend road trips. I quit my never-ending Dietetics plan (okay so that part was stressful and angsty) and instead applied and was accepted to St. Mary’s University of Minnesota where I’m getting a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. We bought a house. I visited Iowa (hey, I collect states, so this was a highlight for me). I met Amber and Lisa, who are as awesome as they seem online. I ran two 10Ks and my very first half-marathon. I lost 25 lbs and I had my first A1C below 7% which is a humongous accomplishment (I know you might not get that one but it’s a big deal).

It was a good year.

It wasn’t always easy. Wondering what my future career would look like. Struggling with my weight for the first half of the year. Constantly struggling with managing an effective budget. Making friends. Finding part-time work that I can balance with my school.

Good and hard.

So now I’m sitting on the eve of 2015 and wondering what this next year will look like. We’ve got some travel coming up (Mexico in January, Oregon in August, and — crossing my fingers this doesn’t fall through — Hawaii (!) in December). Erik and I will mark four years of marriage. I turn 30. I hope to lose another 25 lbs and keep up my diabetes management. I plan to run another half marathon in the spring. And maybe a marathon in the fall? We’ll see. Making more friends and getting more involved in Junior League are a top priority. We might do some work on the house, but for the most part we’re working on getting a handle on our finances. And I plan to continue kicking butt in school.

Actually, scratch that.

I plan on kicking butt. Period.

 

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Christmas in Oregon

Monday, December 29th, 2014 | Posted under Travel

I took a week-long blog break to celebrate Christmas in Oregon with my family. I spent a little bit of time on Facebook and Twitter, but at a greatly reduced amount. It was so refreshing to hop off the Internet, even if it was only briefly! Here’s what we were up to:

Saturday: We flew out Saturday night and arrived a little after 8pm. The house was all decked out in Christmas cheer!

photo 3-5The fireplace decor (note the kitty stocking on the right for my parents’ cat Emma)

photo 2-9The Dickens Village

 

But we were both pretty tired because of the time difference (there’s a 2 hour difference between Minneapolis and Portland) so we only chatted for a little bit before heading to bed.

Sunday: Since I’m now gluten free, my parents weren’t really prepared for my new dietary needs so top priority was going grocery shopping. We meal planned for the week and then Erik, my dad and I went to the big, cheap grocery store and then to the small, expensive natural foods grocery store. In the afternoon, Erik and my dad went out to a couple of brewpubs, and my mom and I went do some last-minute Christmas shopping. After we were done, we all met up with my brother at a Thai restaurant for dinner.

Monday: Oregon is well-known for its rain and this week was no exception, but Monday was surprisingly rain-free! It was pretty warm too — in the upper 50s.

photo 1-9Proof that it didn’t rain the entire time

My mom, Erik and I spent the day around Portland: first we stopped by a local beer store before having lunch at Burgerville (sort of Oregon’s version of In-N-Out), visited Pier 1 Imports to pick up a few things for my mom, and then went to the Saturday Market in Portland, which was open the 12 days before Christmas. They call it the Festival of the Last Minute! Then we went over to the Pearl District to get coffee at Peet’s Coffee and visit Powell’s Bookstore. I had the hardest time deciding what to get and ended up getting a book called Thinking, Fast and Slow. That evening, Erik and I went out to dinner with two of my childhood best friends and their significant others. It was so fun catching up!

Tuesday: Erik and I were on our own for the day. Our first stop was a beer store in Southeast Portland, and then we went over to North Portland for some exploring. We had lunch at Por Que No, Tacos? and then wandered up and down a stretch of North Mississippi, and then finished with ice cream at Ruby Jewel’s. They had a couple of festive flavors, like peppermint chocolate ganache and eggnog, so I got both. I think I’m the only person I know who actually likes egg nog! We were “in charge” of dinner, making our “famous” macaroni and cauliflower cheesebake. But we forgot a couple ingredients on Sunday so we stopped by a local grocery store, and I happened to run into another childhood friend who I hadn’t seen since college! I love chance encounters like that.

Tuesday night was our big Christmas festivity night out in Portland, so after dinner we drove over to the Grotto for the Festival of Lights. The Grotto is owned by the Catholic Church and they do a huge light display. Some of it tells the story of Jesus’ birth, and some of it are just lights decorating trees and plants. They have a big nativity scene in the grotto, which is an alcove in a rock face. They also have a small chapel where choirs from around the Portland area sing Christmas songs.

photo-9The Grotto

photo 4-4The nativity scene

Then we drove over to the Victorian Belle mansion, which is known for their million lights display. But when we got there, it was almost closed and it also looked completely different than it did when I was growing up! It was very disappointing. So we continued on to Peacock Lane, which is a street in Southeast Portland that has every house decorated in really neat Christmas decorations. Some are very elaborate, but a few are a little less spectacular. But it’s still really awesome to look at, and you can tell how popular it is since cars line up to drive down it.

photo 5-2A Dr. Seuss inspired house

Wednesday: Christmas Eve! It was a pretty lazy day. I made gluten-free sugar cookies using a Betty Crocker box and they came out really well! While I did that, we watched The Muppet Christmas Carole which is a tradition of ours. I love that movie! Later in the afternoon we went to Imago Dei Community Church, the church I attended in Portland and one of the pastors officiated our wedding. It was a very sweet, simple service with some sermons, a little performance by some kids about the birth of Jesus, and a little sermon about the gift of Christ.

photo 2-10Yummy cookies!

photo 3-6Pretty tree!

After a yummy dinner, it was time for presents! My dad likes doing presents in the evening because he says Christmas looks prettier at night. My haul was awesome! My parents gave me a Manduka eQua hot yoga towel, a Nathan’s Intensity hydration vest, yoga pants and two tank tops from Athleta, and a sweater from Madewell. Erik got me a really cute print that says “I am a grown-ass lady and I do what I want!”, and a balaclava, winter running tights and Yaktrax. My brother gave me a special edition DVD of Star Trek: First Contact (one of my favorite movies!) and a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond. We also got a Macy’s gift card from my grandmother.

Thursday: Christmas day was pretty quiet. Erik made Paleo lemon and blueberry muffins, and then we opened our stocking stuffers. I got tights, some candy, a journal, and a gift card for Powell’s (they ship) and Starbucks. We were in charge of Christmas dinner — and by we, I mean Erik — so Erik got the short ribs ready in the crockpot (another go-to recipe for us) before heading to the theater to see The Imitation Game. But when we got there, it was sold out! Instead of going to another theater, we decided to just head home and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Erik finished making dinner by roasting some carrots and dates.

Afterward we played Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries. It’s only designed for 3 people, so we had to play on teams, with my parents on one, Erik and I on another, and my brother was his own team. Don’t feel too bad though, he won! The game is all about secrecy, so it was really hard playing on a team and trying to communicate in code. It was pretty funny!

Friday: We had a lazy Friday morning, but then in the early afternoon we went to see The Imitation Game. It was so good, but also really sad. I won’t ruin the movie for you, though, but I definitely recommend it. Our big plan for the day was to go out to dinner, which my other grandmother paid for. We went to a restaurant in downtown Portland called Jake’s Famous Crawfish which is over 100 years old! The food was delicious. I can’t believe it took us so long to go there.

Saturday: Our last day. Sad face. We didn’t do much more than pack and hang around the house, which was good because it was raining pretty hard!

And now we’re home! We did a Christmas dinner with my mother-in-law on Sunday night, But not for long… less than one month until Mexico!!

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What did you get for Christmas? Anything good? 

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This Week

Friday, December 19th, 2014 | Posted under This Week

The high of my week was all the socializing I did! Saturday was our 4th annual holiday party (although the first in Minnesota) which was so much fun. We had 15 people come and everyone pitched in and brought really yummy foods. Our friend Sarah made a gluten-free 7-layer bar that is just delicious — it has butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, and coconut, but it’s made with almond flour so I can eat it! She also brought her homemade caramel corn. I would say Sarah’s food was the high of my week!

The low of my week was needing to go to the chiropractor. I started to get some really severe back pain last week, and I even got two massages in one week hoping it would help! But it didn’t, so I called a chiropractor. The chiropractor X-rayed my back and found that some of my spine is out of alignment, and I’ll need four to six months of adjustments to get it back to normal! Not super happy about that. My neck has been hurting a lot this week because of the tension its causing on my muscles, but on the plus side, my back feels better. So the low is finding out I have a problem, but I suppose it’s also a high in that I’m getting it fixed.

A blog post I loved was probably Nicole’s blog post The $10,000 Method. I thought it was a great reminder of the importance of stating committed to your goals, and that you can make time for anything if it’s important enough to you.

For my workouts, I completed on Monday night, in the rain, I went for a three mile run. It was pretty miserable and slow but I’m glad I got out there! I also went to Orangetheory on Wednesday and Friday. I missed a lot of classes in November because of wacky blood sugars, but I made yet more adjustments and I think things might be mostly okay for now.

The best money I spent was on a pair of gray Nike capris at work. They’re really soft and comfy. I’ve bought a ton of workout tops, but wear the same couple of capris that I’ve had for a long time.

My plans this weekend include flying home to Oregon!!! So excited!!! Wheee!!!

This is a famous sign in Downtown Portland, and they add the red nose every Christmas. It said Made in Oregon for most of my childhood, but the City of Portland acquired ownership of the sign a few years ago, and so that’s what it says now. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a drive over the Burnside Bridge to see this sign.

1024px-Portland_Oregon_-_White_Stag_sign

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