September 30, 2013

On the Menu: October Week 1 Meal Plan

Weekly Meal Plans

We ate out several times last week because we were out & about so a lot of this week's meals are carried over from last week.

The two meals I actually made last week were delicious! So much so that we ate all the leftovers for lunches. I've shared the recipe for the Mexican Chicken Lasagna below.

I'm finally going to jump on the Spicy Sausage Pasta bandwagon and give it a try this week. Another new to us recipe is the Pizza Pasta Casserole. I've looked up several recipes and I think I'm going to do my own little version based on our tastes.

October Week 1 Meal Plan

Now let's talk about the Mexican Chicken Lasagna. I've had a different version of Mexican Lasagna that I didn't particularly care for but this one was so good that it made it on to our regular rotation meal list.

Mexican Chicken Lasagna

Adapted recipe from MMM…Café

Mexican Chicken Lasagna Recipe

You can serve this with any of your favorite fixings like salsa and/or guacamole. I also served it with corn chips.

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September 29, 2013

I may or may not have…

Sunday Confessional

I may or may not have…thrown a mom sized toddler fit this weekend.

Two at age two is about to kill me. Bless all you mommas who have triplets or more!

These two girls of mine are toy dumping, coloring on the walls & furniture, pulling bows off their bow holder, climbing and standing on the table tops, fit throwing toddlers and it's about to drive me bonkers!

I say "No" no less than 3498435 times a day and am told no 5865894 times a day. There is constant separation and time outs.

I feel like nothing I do works. I know they are 2 but sheesh! Something has to work. I need some control!

So yesterday, after a night of broken sleep due to a toddler who woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep, I may or may not have grunted, growled and stomped my feet right into my bedroom and shut the door.

After a full night's sleep, I feel not so out of control today.

So thankful for a new day.

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September 28, 2013

Rebuild Update: Progress

Mills Rebuild Logo

As of yesterday, WE HAVE STEM WALLS!!!

Stem Walls - Family Room

It seems like such a simple step but, it's a step! As long as the weather keeps cooperating, we can make some pretty good progress. Next week is supposed to be plumbing and the rest of the foundation.

See the storm shelter? Just outside that stem wall is going to be a covered patio. The post for the patio? Comes right up to the back corner of the shelter. Did we cut it close or what? However, it couldn't be more perfect! We can walk right out the back door and right into the storm shelter when needed (hopefully I don't have to get in it again for a very long time).

Our brick has been ordered. Yay!

Exterior trim colors are still making my head spin. Let me tell you, choosing all the exterior stuff is SO stressful! I mean, it's not something you can change easily or inexpensively so you have to get it right the first time. So. Much. Pressure.

You know how I said I wasn't going to shop for the house? I lied. I just can't help myself! I have no will power (hangs head in shame). I met my best friend at a place called The Rink Gallery today and came home with this little (or maybe not so little) beauty today. I just couldn't leave without it.

Aqua Mirror

Isn't she pretty?! I really don't think I'll have trouble finding a place to put it in the new house but I have no idea where I'll put it for now.

So that's the latest on the house building front. I hope to have even more forward progress updates from now on!

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September 26, 2013

House Dreaming: Breakfast Nook

Breakfast Nook Layout

I said I was done shopping but I didn't say I was done planning. ;)

I have these ideas in my head and it's helping to try to lay them all out with design boards. I've actually changed my mind on a couple of things doing this.

We went back and forth on what to do in our breakfast area. We didn't want the table to impede on too much of the path from the front of the house to the family room in the back so we I decided on doing a banquette.

This is kind of what I'm thinking.

Breakfast Nook Design Board

Of course I would put the bench up against the wall. Then I was thinking 2 chairs on the opposite side. Now I'm wondering if I should add one more chair for each end. The barstools (that we have already purchased) for the kitchen island are pretty much the same color as the bench.

The color of the table is up for debate. I'm really liking this color but finding one that is the right size and doesn't blow my budget might be an issue. I'm also thinking about buying an unfinished one that way I could stain it whatever color I want. The third option is to have James build one. He hasn't heard this idea yet. :) Another reason for this color is that it looks best against the dark floors.

As for any artwork or décor for the wall, I'll worry about that once we are actually in the house. I may end up making a piece to put in there.

So this is the direction I want to go. It may change by the time we actually get into the house but I doubt it changes too much.

If you missed it, here is my Play Room design board.

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September 25, 2013

Wednesday Randoms: Candy Corn & Duck Face

So I started a blog post yesterday afternoon to post, well…. yesterday. But mass chaos and no nap toddlers made it impossible to finish so I saved that baby for another day. Pretty much the story of my life.

  • In my quiet time this morning, these verses jumped out at me and I felt I needed to share them. If you're like me and have trouble being patient sometimes, this may help.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. ~2 Peter 2.8-9

  • I think we've decided to go on a shopping strike. Shopping for the new house that is. Well, I've gone on a buying strike. James is still "shopping" online. I just can't do it, it's too stressful to try to decorate a house that doesn't even have walls yet!

  • I've actually been enjoying the cooler weather we've had the past couple of days. I've switched from shorts & t-shirts to capris and t-shirts. Hey, when you start to sweat the minute your children wake up, you tend to dress cooler than normal. Seriously though, what is up with that?! It's like the second I get them out of bed I start sweating instantly.

  • Now that the candy corn is "in season", I've made my fall snack. I usually make it with peanuts but decided to try it with cashews this year. It's not quite the same but still pretty good. It's also almost gone. :)
    photo (41)


  • This little stinker has perfected the duck face. Tillie still draws her lips inward. We're still working on it. :)
    Tensley Duck Face

Well, that's about all I've got. My mind has been so consumed with house stuff lately there hasn't been much room for random thoughts. LOL

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September 23, 2013

On the Menu

We've been so off our routine lately that we've been eating out a lot. I'm wanting to get back to couponing (more for our weekly meals than to stock up…there's no room for extras here) so I've decided to get better about meal planning.

We are also trying to eat a little healthier but I'm not a fan of ground turkey so I've been using ground chicken. Loving that!

Here's our menu for the week. I'm going to try to start posting recipes and pictures but that will come in the coming weeks.

September Week 4 Meal Plan

Since Saturday is a game day, I'm going to make the Crockpot Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches that I made a few weeks ago.

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September 22, 2013

Just a little Weekend Recap

We had a very low key yet exhausting weekend.

Yesterday my father in law came for a short visit. The girls went down for their nap while he was here and not long after he left, Tillie woke up with a fever. She still refuses to take medicine. For every 10 attempts she'll take it once and when she doesn't, we don't dare hold her down to give it to her because she gets so mad she throws it up every time. Needless to say, we got very little sleep last night.

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As of tonight, she has still been running a low grade fever. I wish I knew what keeps making her sick. However, she hasn't acted quite as sick as she has the past few times. She was well enough for shenanigans with her sister.

photo 1 (26)

I just hope we all get a good night's sleep tonight.

James moved some stuff around in our storage lockers. We bought a new dining room table last weekend (that I just couldn't resist) so we had to find a place for it.

Other than that, we haven't done much. We were very boring this week. Sometimes it's good to be boring though. :)

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September 21, 2013

Rebuild Update: Ugh, Weather

Mills Rebuild

Remember last week when I told you how they were supposed to have part of our foundation done for the new additions this week? Well, on Thursday it rained….a lot. So here we are with another delay. There's no rain in the forecast for next week so hopefully they can make some pretty good progress.

James and I went yesterday to look at and pick out brick. With all the houses being built & re-built due to the tornado, they're saying it's taking 5-6 weeks to get brick so we are done with brick. Next up is stone for the wainscoting.

Today a demo crew is finishing the demo. Apparently the first crew decided not to finish the job.

So next week….next week is going to be the week. Let's (re)build a house!

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September 20, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday! It's downright chilly here today. I left the house wearing cropped skinnies and a short sleeved shirt. I wish I had taken a jacket with me!


Fall is trying to make an appearance here this week. It's not that much cooler but it has cooled down a bit in the last couple of days. None of our highs for next week are in the 90's. I'm not a huge fan of Fall. It tends to be gloomy here in the Fall and I prefer sunshine. Winter is my least favorite of all seasons. Then comes Fall and now, for obvious reasons, Spring has made it onto the list of seasons I don't like. College football & the fact that I can wear my Uggs are what make Fall and Winter tolerable.


We are still having problems with crickets. We have to dodge them to get into our apartment. I'm sort of glad our apartment isn't on the ground floor because you literally could not walk to your door without stepping on a cricket…yes, they're that bad.

They are also still coming in to our apartment despite the complex spraying (we've even sprayed around the outside of our door) and if you know me, I HATE bugs and get totally creeped out if I have to kill one. The broom has been my choice of weapon against these flying/jumping creatures.

This morning, one snuck into the living room and right in the middle of where the girls were playing. Needles to say, there was lots of screaming and standing on chairs. I beat the cricket to death with the broom and then vacuumed it up (did I mention vacuuming up bugs, dead or alive, makes my toes curl? I hate it!)

The girls are still taking cover in a chair.

Hiding from Crickets

Disclaimer: I have been very careful to not show my fear/dislike of insects in front of the girls. Their fear came from an incident where, I believe, a cricket jumped on Tensley's back. This is another post for another day. :)


Our apartment complex changed ownership a month ago and ever since they have been making improvements. Right now they are replacing the roofs on all the buildings. There have been roofers working on our building and the building across from us so we've been watching them the last couple of days. Yesterday, we had some rain showers and at one point, the wind kicked up. It was like a monsoon! The rain was coming down sideways and roofing materials and such were blowing off the top of the buildings. The workers started yelling at each other and some started picking things up but most of them just kept on working! It was crazy!


On Wednesday I woke up a little late and the girls had started to wake up just as I was getting in the shower. I planned to get them out of bed once I had showered and gotten dressed. Well, then I got on the phone with my sister and the girls were giggling & playing so I just left them there a little longer. Big mistake. When I finally went in to get them, the first thing I noticed was that Tillie was pantless and then I noticed that Tensley was completely nekked! Girlfriend had taken not only her jammies off but had removed her diaper too! I, of course, ran to grab my camera but I will not be sharing that picture on here or any social media outlets. :)


Speaking of taking pictures of the girls. I finally figured out how to get them to sit together and stay still. They still don't both cooperate and look at me and smile at the same time but at least they're sitting together.


What I did was set them on a ledge in our apartment and held on to them from behind while James took a picture. It's an iPhone pic so it's not the greatest quality. Actually, it's horribly grainy. I'm so ready to get our new iPhones!

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September 18, 2013

A Blogiversary


Ok, so technically I haven't been a mom for 3 years just quite yet. However, most of my posts have been as a mom. :)

I have, just in the last year, started posting pretty regularly so I thought I'd share my favorite posts from each year I've blogged. Just so you know, this was not an easy task!

Since I started blogging in the fall of 2010, there weren't many posts I had to sort through. However, there is one post that stands out and that's the post where I tell the world that we are finally pregnant.

The next year, 2011, was a very very tough year. Not because of my pregnancy….that was actually pretty easy, but because of unexpected accidents and deaths in our family. But the best part of 2011, of course, was when the girls were born. Their delivery was not as we planned but I was thankful they were here and they were healthy. You can read the birth story here and here.

My favorite post of 2012 is, of course, TnT's first birthday party. I learned a lot of things about hosting parties that year….lot's of what not to do. Nevertheless, the party turned out great and I have good memories from that day.

This year has been another tough one! Thankfully, we have had no loss of life in our family but there has been loss. Big loss. Loss of our home, loss of several family members' homes, loss of normal. Through everything, however, I have been reminded over and over that I have a Father in Heaven who cares for me and is always looking out for me and that there's a reason for everything.

If you have been a reader for a while, thank you for being with me through this crazy journey of becoming and being a mom. If you are a new reader, please stick around a while and get to know me. I love "meeting" and getting to know new people.

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September 16, 2013

A Wicked Weekend

Hi there! I hope everyone had a great weekend!

My head is still spinning from our meeting on Friday.

Saturday night James and I had a date night and went to see Wicked. I thought it was pretty good. I realize this might sound weird, because I like music, but it had more music in it than I would have preferred. Weird, I know. I will say, however, that the girl that played Elphaba had an incredible voice and Defying Gravity was my favorite song.

I did sneak a pic of the stage before the show started. The set was also amazing.

Wicked Stage

On Sunday, I helped move my grandparents into their new home. They live next door to us & their house was also totaled due to the May 20th tornado. It was a family affair…and somewhat of a family reunion. I got to see cousins I hadn't seen it several years.

Moving Gma & Gpa Home

We were able to get them settled for the most part. Their clothes were pretty much the only thing that was left to unpack. This week I plan to get a few things for them that they didn't have like bath towels and dish rags and toothbrush holders, etc. That's the bad thing about tornados…the salvageable stuff is boxed up as quickly as possible and thrown into storage until you can get settled so it's hard to know what you have & don't have until you actually move and unpack. They didn't even have sheets or blankets!

Even though they lost a lot in the tornado, my poor grandma had to give up even more stuff since their new house is much smaller than their previous one. When she decided to let go of this clock, I gladly volunteered to take if off her hands. :)

Vintage Clock

Isn't it cute?! I plan to paint it a bright pink and put it in the girls room in the new house.

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September 14, 2013

Rebuild Update: Decisions

Mills Rebuild

So yesterday we had our pre-construction meeting.

We went over the plans. We discussed the electrical plan and the HVAC plan.

We discussed the plumbing.

We decided on the brick and rock placement.

We even discussed whether or not we wanted a flare out or eyebrows where the roof line comes down. Who knew this was even a thing?!

We did some more rearranging. We moved the fireplace from the formal living area to the family room. We changed the placement of the double oven and the microwave….and then we just changed it again this morning.

We came home with homework.


We were instructed to decide on our brick, stone and window colors ASAP because these companies are 5-6 weeks out with orders. I don't know why I was surprised by this I mean there are thousands of other people who are also rebuilding their houses so there was bound to be waiting times and backorders.

I was up late last night looking at pictures and then again this morning, James and I have been looking at and discussing colors. I think, for now, we have decided on these colors for our exterior.

Exterior Colors

For the brick, I want to use a color that blends a little more than the picture above. We are still discussing weather to use mortar or do a dry stack for the stone….I'm campaigning for the dry stack. Who knew there was a choice? I've already built one house and I am still learning new things this go round.

I'm not 100% on the window trim. Our options are white, clay and almond. The choice above is supposed to be almond but the almond I saw in person didn't quite look like this one does. So the jury is still out on this one.

The primary color is what we want for the front door, posts on the front porch and the shutters. We also plan to have the garage doors a dark brown. The secondary color will just be on the dormers. I'm still not 100% on this one either. I worry that it's a little too orange.

One thing we did realize this morning was that we will still have to pick out the shingles and the guttering. Ugh, will it every end?! Can we just skip to the really fun part like wall colors and cabinet styles and colors?

So. Many. Decisions.

My head literally hurts from thinking about all this!

Also? There is no truer test on your communication skills with your spouse than when you build a house…..or two.

Oh and the biggest news for this update? There is a possibility that we will have at least part of our foundation done by end of next week. However, I noticed there is a chance of rain every day this week. Every. Day. It figures.

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September 13, 2013

Five on Friday: Joy, K-Cups & Freebies!

This week seemed like a long week until today. I was feeling blah and was so lazy the first part of the week and then yesterday I got a mini burst of energy and finally cleaned our bathrooms. For some reason, having the bathrooms clean made the whole apartment feel fresh and clean.

Today, we have our pre-construction meeting and the day seems to be flying by…which is something I was not expecting since I've been so anxious for our meeting this afternoon.

Since I seem to have a new found love of bullet points, I'm linking up again for Five on Friday!


Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. ~Psalm 143.8

I have been reminded lately why this is my life verse. When I wake up early, before the chaos of 2 year old twins, and spend time in the Word with the Lord, my days tend to go so much better.


I posted this picture of Tillie on Instagram yesterday. The joy that I captured in her face just makes my heart happy. I think one of the best things about children is that they teach you to take joy in the smallest things. Both girls just love bubbles! Our favorite are the Gymboree bubbles and bubble blower.

Bubble Joy


photo (39)

I splurged last night and bought these K-Cups. I had the Caramel Macchiato this morning (with my Sweet Cream Coffee Mate Bliss) and really liked it! I couldn't wait to try the Pumpkin Spice so I'm brewing a cup now. ;)


I recently did some printables for a BaBy Q shower. I'm really liking this theme and may just do a couple different sets for it.

BaBy Q


Speaking of printables. Isaiah 43 has come before me, in various forms, several times this week. I used the Rhonna Designs app to create a picture for Instagram and posted it yesterday. This morning in my quiet time, I came across it again which led me to design a printable. You can download it for FREE here. Please let me know if you have problems downloading it.

You Are Mine

And now I'm off to drink my cuppa Pumpkin Spice and get ready for our meeting!

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September 11, 2013

Wednesday Randoms: Tacos, iPhones & Sponsors

  • My mind kept wandering back to this day 12 years ago. It's one of those moments I'll never forget. I was at home getting ready for work and I remember watching that second plane crash into the building. I was in complete shock and didn't want to go into work fearing something else could happen.


  • We've have been a little lazy around here for the past few days….ok, the last week. I just haven't had the desire to leave the house (except for my bible study yesterday).

  • I had some ground chicken so I decided to make chicken tacos last night. They were delicious! Even the girls liked them. I know this because they ate TWO tacos each!

  • Is anyone else as excited as I am about the iPhone 5s release date being announced?! I have been waiting months…MONTHS for it to come out. I need a new phone baaaaaaad.

  • Some of my friends have had some weird things happen in Instagram so I've decided to switch my account to private. I had it private for a little while then set it back to public and now I'm back to private. I'm pretty sure this is going to be a permanent change. If you want to follow me and you are private, please make sure you have a bio so I know you're not some crazy person. Mmmk? :) Or you can email me and say, "Hey, accept my request please!"

  • Be sure to check out my sponsors over in my sidebar. These ladies were very kind and generous to me after the tornado so I want to give them a shout out. I promise you, you will love all of their products so go right now and check out their shops!

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September 10, 2013

The itsy bitsy spider….

Mommy Power Hour

Taking a page from Erin today and having my Mommy Power Hour to get some blogging and work done. The laundry is going and the coffee is hot.

We, like most stay at home moms and their kidlets, hit the ground running this morning.

I started a new bible study at my church today. It was literally a last minute decision to go but I am very excited about it and can't wait to talk about it but that's another post for another day.

What I'm here to talk about today are spiders. I have a strong dislike for spiders or anything that crawls or jumps for that matter.

After the bible study I went and got the girls from the nursery and we all headed to the car. I got us loaded up and off we went. The only other stop I needed to make was the grocery store to pick up a couple of things for dinner and then I planned to get the girls home in time for lunch and their nap.

I had been driving for a few minutes when I looked up and noticed a spider on my window.

My first thought was, "ok, there's a spider on the window so don't roll the window down or it will come in." You see, it was at the very top, near the edge.

However, after further inspection, I realized the spider was on the INSIDE of the window!

My next thought was, "OMG there's a spider IN my car! I need to kill it, I don't want to kill it! Eeeek!"

After taking a breath, I spotted a dried up wet wipe in the top of my little trash compartment so I grabbed it and shoved it against the window as hard as I could and prayed that I hadn't missed and had successfully squished the evil spider that was out to get me.

Once several seconds had passed and I was able to convince myself that I had squished the spider, I pulled the dried up wet wipe away from the window and…..AHHHHHHHHHH! I had not killed the spider! I saw it fall from the wet wipe and down went the spider and wet wipe into the floor beneath my feet where at this point, 2 of my bestest friends received the following text. Side note: I sent the text while at a stop light. Panic attacks AND texting while driving would definitely not be good.

Spider Text

I couldn't even think about anything but that spider crawling up my leg so the rest of the way home I made sure to move my feet & legs as much as possible so that spider would not crawl up my legs.

I made it home without having a complete heart attack, totally forgot to stop at the grocery store and when I got out of the car, I noticed the spider curled up on the edge of my seat to which I had another mild panic attack until I realized I had indeed killed the spider. I'm not sure at what point. It could have truly been squished when I intended or it met it's untimely death in my jumping around while trying to keep it from crawling on me. The important fact was that it was dead.

It wasn't until after I was home and settled that my now dead to me friends, texted me back to make sure I was alive.

And then I had to text James an ask him to stop at the store for me since I had totally been side tracked. My domestic fail for the day.

I'm so ready to be back in my bug free (because we have someone come out and spray every quarter) house again.

So tell me, are you as afraid of creepy crawly jumping things as I am?

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September 9, 2013


08 20 13_4990

It seems like it was easier to recover from the tornado that took our first home back in 1999. I say easier because I had time grieve. Lots of time. I slept a lot. Even when I went back to work, for the first few months afterward, I'd go to wherever my home was during that time and sleep.

Recovering from the tornado that destroyed our house this year seems harder. This time, we have two 2 year olds…..there has been no time to grieve. I also wasn't able to help much with the clean up efforts. As a woman, it's hard to know that someone else is going through your house…..your things and deciding what is salvageable and what is not. Sure, James would text me pictures or call but it just wasn't the same. I did get to pack up my craft room….although I'm pretty sure a lot of it will be thrown away when I have a chance to go through those boxes. Paper and fabric don't do well when mixed with water and dirt and then packed up in a plastic box. I can just imagine the smell that will hit me when I open the lids to those boxes. It will smell like…….tornado.

Building a house this go round seems harder too. The first time, the house we built…the one we just lost…was a cookie cutter house and we didn't have a lot of money to be able to do upgrades. We just built the biggest house we could with the money we had.

This house? This house we are trying to build is our dream house. There are SO many decisions that have to be made. I can't even tell you how many times we have changed the plans….not many major plans just a lot of little tweaks. We have our pre-construction meeting the end of this week and we are still making changes! I'm sure our builder just cringes when he sees an email or text from us. Ha! But we want to get it right.

We want to get it right but man the waiting! We're getting closer to starting construction but still haven't. I. cant. stand. the. waiting. I am an instant gratification type of person. I want it an I want it now! Add in the feelings of being totally displaced and the waiting is even harder. And if that wasn't enough, I know from experience that even once we start building, there will be more waiting. Waiting because the weather, waiting because the inspector has to come out before they can proceed, waiting because materials haven't been delivered yet, blah, blah, blah.

To make matters worse, I found out my thyroid levels are way off. I have been hyper-thyroid for who knows how long (I was diagnosed with thyroid disease years ago). Looking back, it would explain my rapid weight loss and moodiness….things I thought were due to a natural disaster turning my life upside down. I guess the joke is on me.

It could also explain the this poor me post.

I know it will all get better. It has to. I'll probably be a little more optimistic after our meeting this week….and once my thyroid is under control again. But right now? Right now I just want to whine….and sleep…..and be back in my house… home!

Thanks for reading my rant. I feel better now. If you're a praying person, will you pray for me? For me to find the joy in the right now? To be patient and enjoy the process?

Please just pray for me because…………...ugh.

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