Tag Archives: marriage

5 Ways to Prepare Your Marriage for a New Baby

5 Ways to Prepare Your Marriage for a New Baby

5 Ways to Prepare Your Marriage for a New Baby

If you’ve visited here for some time, you likely know the hubby and I have been on a long, windy road to pregnancy.

Nearly thirteen years of marriage.  Quite a few fertility treatments. No baby yet.  But we remain incredibly hopeful (and happy) as we keep trying. That’s why I love reading posts like this one from blogger, Paula Rollo.  

They help me understand what to expect and allow us to talk about these things even before my hormones go a bit nutty :) .

If you have your own special package on its way, congratulations!  You will be able to begin putting these suggestions to practice right away.  Excited for you, my friend.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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With a baby on the way, it can be easy to let marriage slip to the back burner.

Babies require a lot of time, attention and energy, so it is important for couples to put alot of effort into their marriage, both before and after the baby is born.

Doing this will help ensure the marriage relationship continues to grow stronger in the midst of all the life transitions that come with the birth of a new bundle of joy! 

Wondering what you can do to get ready?

Here are 5 ways to prepare your marriage for a new baby:

1.  Enhanced Communication.  Communication has always been an important part of marriage, but it becomes more essential as your family grows. Long and intricate conversations with your spouse will now be interrupted by baby’s feedings and diaper changes.

Take some time to find new ways to communicate your love and needs to one another, without beating around the bush or trying to rely on subtle hints. Loving honesty and truthful conversations are important, now more than ever.

2.  Respect the Hormones.  Wives, I’m talking to you! The pregnancy hormones may calm down after baby is born, but that doesn’t mean you are free and clear.

It may take several weeks or even months for your hormones to get back to normal, especially if you are breastfeeding. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself still being a bit weepy or sensitive. That’s okay!

The key here is to be able to identify when the hormones are making you feel wonky, and allow yourself a break.  If you realize you are getting annoyed or irritated with your husband, step back for a moment and think.  Chances are your hormones are just acting up and your hubby is not to blame.

In our family, it helped a lot when I was able to tell my husband something like “I’m not really mad at you, my hormones are just making me feel bad right now.”  When I did this, he was able to support and love on me, instead of feeling the need to get defensive about something he said (or did) that wouldn’t have mattered if my hormones weren’t being crazy.

Respect the hormones, and find ways to clue your hubby in that you may be having a hormonal day! Those days are hard on the hubbies too, not just the wives.

3.  Priorities.  When baby comes, you will both find yourselves very tired, and scrambling for time to complete your normal activities. It is a good practice to identify the most important things to each of you, so that you can both try to prioritize accordingly.

If you’re usually the one who cleans and only have time to tidy one room today, do you know which one would mean the most to your husband to have cleaned?  If given the choice, does he know if you would prefer a home-cooked meal from him, or all the laundry washed and put away?  Do neither of you really care if the bed is made, or the floors vacuumed?

Take the time to discuss these things before they become issues, and don’t waste your energy on the things that don’t matter as much to either of you. There will be days when neither of you can keep up with everything that you used to do, this is normal and the season will pass eventually. Knowing your partner’s pet peeves and specific desires can help reduce stress and eliminate disagreements during this transitional season of life.

4.  Lower your standards - I know that sounds bad, but hear me out. Before baby, you had more time and money to spend on date nights or simple evenings of relaxation together. Once baby is born, it might (read: likely) become more difficult to get out of the house or even to spend a full evening cuddling together on the couch without interruption. Lower your expectations for at least a few months, and learn to find joy in the time that you do get to spend together.

It may not be at a 5-star restaurant, but a quiet dinner at home while the baby sleeps, can be just as romantic! Remember that the important thing is time together, regardless of where or when that time is spent! (Check out this post for 10 fun home date night ideas that are perfect for post-baby dating!)

5.  The 3 month wait.  If at any time (or all the time!) you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or worried about what your life is becoming, don’t fret! Give it a few weeks. Things change fast with a baby, and chances are in 3 months or so, you will be feeling a lot more rested, calm and confident as parents. This baby business can be hard work, but it does get easier, I promise!

Don’t be too hard on yourself, or your spouse if things don’t immediately flow perfectly. Learning and growing together means working through the rough times and the crazy bumps that life throws at us. A baby changes everything, but that is not a bad thing. Marriage can get stronger and sweeter with time and with babies! It might take a bit of extra work to keep those butterflies going, but it will be more than worth it! 

Looking for more tips? Check out this post to learn 7 Ways to Keep the Romance Alive After the Baby is Born.


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Happy Wives Club Book


THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

8 Crucial Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Marriage

8 Crucial Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Marriage

8 Crucial Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Marriage

If I could go back and tell my younger self a handful of things about marriage, what would they be?  Now, that I’ve been married for over a decade, what would I do differently?

These are questions I asked myself after reading this wonderful post from HWC contributor and author, Christine St. Vil.  

I paused for a second to think of the answer, the first one that comes to mind is something Christine previously shared was the best marriage advice she’d received: Begin with the end in mind

What would you tell your younger self about marriage, if going back in time were possible?

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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My husband and I have been together for a pretty long time (together for sixteen and married for more than nine). Although we are extremely blessed to be living in a happy marriage, I often reminisce on earlier days by taking a trip down memory lane.

As I sat down to think about the lessons I learned as I grew up in my own marriage, I thought about all of the advice I’ve learned along the way, ones that if it were possible, I’d go back and pass on to my younger self.

8 Crucial Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About Marriage

1. Marriage is not a magic wand.  Marriage will not solve any unresolved issues you had prior to getting married. Those little things that get on your nerves before marriage that you never say anything about, will only escalate. They don’t magically disappear. So start expressing yourself openly and honestly, but most importantly, lovingly. Whatever issues you have, they can be resolved with love and communication, so use those simultaneously.

2. All marriages were not created equal. It is not a one-size fits all kinda deal. Take marriage advice from those who are wiser and more experienced (and especially those who are happy). But don’t try to mirror everything you see, exactly as you see it. Take the great advice and examples, and adjust them to fit your unique marriage.

3. Your selfish days are over (or at least, they ought to be). The “Team of Me” will not last in marriage. Marriage is give and take and if you only focus on taking, you will put your marriage in a bad situation. Stop being spoiled, and learn to suck it up and move on, especially when you know you’re in the wrong.

4. Having kids changes things. Before you have kids, you can come and go as you please and not think twice about it. You can frequent your favorite carry-out and sleep in until your heart’s content. Having kids after marriage is the most rewarding blessing. But just be prepared that things will change…for the better. Kids make you grow up a bit and put your big girl panties on. Suddenly, you no longer care about how long you used to sleep or hang out before kids.

5. Focus on the things that matter. Nine years later and I (almost) don’t care that the bottom tier of my wedding cake was dropped and that it wasn’t the four-tier cake I had dreamed of (and paid for). I also (almost) don’t care that we had to stage our wedding day six months after the fact in order to capture all of the photos we failed to capture on the actual wedding day. In hindsight, I got to wear my dress and cathedral length veil twice in less than a year, when most never wear these two items more than once.

6. Learn to talk to your husband not at him. You’ll get so much further in conversations and discussions when you figure this one thing out. Although some behaviors may mimic that of a child at times, he is not your child nor should he be spoken to as such. Humility and respect go a long way.

7. You can’t tell your girlfriends everything. It’s your job to protect your husband’s character. So be careful about the details you share with even your closest girlfriends. Your number one commitment and honor should always be to your spouse. 

8. Marriage will change you. And that’s okay. No, you can’t hang out all night with your girlfriends regularly, or have drunken sleepovers (okay sometimes it’s necessary just not all the time). You may find yourself gaining new friends, new married friends that can understand your and speak your new language. 

YOUR TURN: What marriage lessons would you tell your younger self? Share your thoughts on our Facebook community page with over 1,000,000 members just like you.


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Happy Wives Club Book


THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book.  I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way.  It’s a marriage book line none other.  Guaranteed.

8 Essential Keys to Being a Happy Wife

8 Essential Keys to Being a Happy Wife

8 Essential Keys to Being a Happy Wife

Every now and again, I receive a guest post that makes me stand up and cheer.  Maybe not literally, but while I’m reading it I begin saying to myself, “Yes, yes, yes!”  

This post by, Christine St. Vil, is just that.  It’s short…actually, quite a bit shorter than the usual, but oh so mighty!

She hits the nail on the head and punctuates it with advice from her parents who have been happily married for more 47 years.  

Just three years from their golden anniversary…I’m definitely heeding their advice!

There are so many important ingredients in the recipe for a happy marriage, and the ingredients and spices you use in your recipe might be completely different than what I use in mine.

But what I love about posts like this is I’m reminded to stay focused on my own recipe and keep on perfecting it.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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I can’t help but feel so excited to be a part of such an awesome community as HWC! It’s a place where bragging about my husband will never get old. Yes folks, happy wives really do exist (and I’m one of them)!

For many couples, we really do enjoy being married, and yes, we really are happy.

Here are 8 Essential Keys to Being a Happy Wife

1.  A happy wife knows how to FLY (First Love Yourself). I know this is not the first time you’re hearing it, but it’s really important: you cannot be happy or love someone else in any relationship, if you are unhappy and unloving to yourself. It all starts from within.

2.  A happy wife expresses love to her spouse. She shows her spouse love by having an attitude of gratitude. She tells him how much she appreciates even the smallest of contributions and support.

3.  A happy wife respects her spouse. Regardless of differences of opinions, she never engages in name calling or disrespectful behavior towards her spouse.

4.  A happy wife surrounds herself with other happy wives. And she’s not ashamed of distancing herself from unhappy or bitter wives. She knows she can lean on other happy wives for prayer and support.

5.  A happy wife treats her marriage like a ministry. Regardless of your religious affiliation, marriage is a ministry. It’s designed for you to serve your spouse. When you focus on making your husband happy, he will naturally do the same for you.

6.  A happy wife knows which battles are worth picking. Is it really worth the nagging that turns into fussing if you know he’s never going to remember to put the toilet seat down? Hanging on to the smaller idiosyncrasies can prohibit you from seeing that he did the dishes without asking, or took out the trash without the daily reminder.

7.  A happy wife is okay admitting when she’s wrong. This was a tough one for me early on because I was one who really hated to be wrong and still do at times. But the difference now is that I can own up to my faults and I can admit when I’m wrong. Humility goes a long way. Learn to laugh at your own mistakes.

8.  A happy wife knows when it’s time to let go. I interviewed my parents recently as they celebrated 47 years of marriage and this was one of their tips for reaching this milestone: They have the understanding that nobody is perfect, and they don’t expect each other to be. But nothing is more important than the sustainability of their union.

Are you a happy wife? What key would you add to this list?


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The Best Marriage Advice I Got: Begin With The End in Mind

Best Marriage Advice - Begin with the End in Mind

Isn’t ironic how a marriage series, pulled together in a matter of a day by four different bloggers, could be so impactful?

Today, is the final day of this impromptu series.  I keep referring to it as impromptu because I didn’t have any clue I would host it it until the first post by Maggie Reyes went live on Monday.

As soon as I hit “publish”, I thought, How amazing would be be if I could gather “best marriage advice” articles from four spectacular women and publish a new one each day through the end of the week?

That thought became action and all the women I reached out to responded with excitement.  

I chose these four bloggers because I know they are all happily married and the best advice they’d received along the way was certainly being applied in their own marriages (even if they weren’t conscious of it).

What I didn’t anticipate was how different their answers would be which made it that much more enjoyable and inspiring.  I’m so grateful I was fortunate enough to host this series.  It truly has been one of my favorites.

Cheers!  And enjoy this beautiful lesson shared by Christine St. Vil with MomsNCharge.com after interviewing her parents who have been married for more than 47 years.

Until Monday…make it a great weekend!

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Like Paula in yesterday’s post, I have to admit that I too, had to really think about this question.

What was the best marriage advice I’d ever received?

I tried to think back to our wedding video and the sweet words of wisdom that were left by so many of our guests, but nothing was sticking out. I thought back to my bridal shower and the almost seven years we dated before we got married, but nothing was really coming to me.  

I then tried to think of all of the interviews I’ve conducted with married couples in the last couple of years, but still nothing really jumped out at me.

But then, something kept coming to me. 

It was the advice my parents shared in an interview I did with them last year when asking about how they got to year forty-seven in their marriage.

This is advice I always had in the back of my head, but I now define it more clearly:  The only end goal you should have in marriage is to honor, love and cherish each other until the day you die.  And the only way to do that is to understand that marriage was not designed for your own benefit. When you understand this, tensions that may arise, don’t last very long.

This “end goal” thought process has taken some time for me to fully understand and appreciate. My husband and I have been through several growth spurts, many impactful changes, and really learning how to communicate effectively.

When you take off the wedding dress, the fancy shoes, the make-up and the tiara, and all you have are your wedding vows to stand on and your spouse by your side, you realize that the only exit strategy in marriage is death. And I don’t know about you, but I want to be alive for a very long time.

I will gladly work through my obstacles and challenges in my marriage because I know that those moments are just that…moments. They don’t define our marriage. They only make our marriage stronger, and allow us to work more fluidly together as a unit.

Beginning with the end in mind means that we may not agree on an issue today or tomorrow.  But we have a lifetime together to make it work.  It means that there are days we’ll make each other really happy, and there will be days where we may not even want to talk to each other.  It means that there will be days when we can’t keep our hands off of each other and days where we don’t even want to touch.

But there will be so many more days that we spend joking, laughing, cuddling, and hugging. Those are the days that we choose to focus on because those are the days that will allow us to focus with the end in mind.

Beginning with the end in mind means that we are working towards one goal…together.  It means that we’re in this marriage journey together, as one unit.  And as Kim Hall pointed out earlier in this series, there is a whole lot of strength when harnessing the power of two


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7 Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage with Gabrielle Reece

7 Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

7 Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage with Gabrielle Reece

You’ve likely seen her on the cover of a few magazines, on the beaches as a competitive volleyball player, or as a television personality.  

Now, allow me to introduce you to super athlete and healthy living icon, Gabby Reece, in a different role: Wife.

Married since 1997 to big-wave surfer, Laird Hamilton, Gabby has been candid about the challenges she and her husband faced in their early years of marriage.

Wedded bliss quickly turned into something else and four years into their union, they were headed for divorce.  

But she’s guest posting here today, because they soon discovered, what so many of us have also learned over the years: A great marriage isn’t something that just happens; it’s something that must be created.

I, for one, am so happy Gabby and Laird made it.  And I’m just as psyched she’s here today to share 7 great tips that prove she knows how to bring her “A” game on and off the court!

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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Let’s face it: it’s easy to fall into a routine of monotony with our daily work schedules, errands and general life up-keep. Devoting our energy to “crossing things off the list” can often leave one of life’s most important commitments (our marriages!), well, unchecked.

Don’t fret: the joy of saying “I do” includes learning new ways to say and do things that will keep your marriage exciting, interesting, and plenty spicy. Change it up with these relationship affirming tricks of the trade.

7 Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage!

1) Just say yes. One thing that I’ve learned is to exercise the power in just saying YES. I tend to get so off into my routine and that can be boring. It’s easy to start to associate your partner with the monotony of your daily routine. Saying yes to new things helps bring forced adventure into your life. 

2) Learn things individually. Try unusual things. It makes you shift and talk about different things and it keeps everything interesting. There are things you can do as an individual. Put an effort toward continuing to learn new things or reading new things. You gain new and different things to talk about. This helps your partner find you more engaging.

3) Express positivity. I always try to make sure my husband knows that I am happy to see him. I go out of my way to express that to him. There’s this level of respect that keeps in that space. It becomes a reciprocally positive tone. 

4) Laugh. Laughter is so important in a happy, fulfilling marriage. I think there’s this myth out there that men can let go and laugh with friends but sometimes don’t show that side of themselves to their wives. Laughter is so helpful. 

5) Extend your idea of foreplay. It’s an amazing concept to start to recognize that foreplay has nothing to do with the bedroom. Laird empties the dishwasher in the morning and I love that. Appreciating all those little things can lead you into the bigger things.

6) Protect the mystery. I tend to believe in exercising a little bit of discretion. It’s important to keep the mystery alive in your marriage by being subtle. I don’t need to do every personal thing in front of my husband.

7) Strike the balance between independent and giving.  I try to achieve a combination of being independent and bending over backwards for my partner. I believe that it precipitates this good feeling and inspires us to both behave well. It’s a gear shift where you are your own person and defined but you will do many loving things for your husband as well.


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5 Little Things That Make a Huge Difference in Marriage

5 Little Things That Make a Huge Difference in Marriage

5 Little Things That Make a Huge Difference in Marriage

Earlier this year, my husband and I did something we’d desired for more than ten years. We got married -with me in a wedding dress, him in a tux, and in front of family, friends- without an Elvis impersonator officiating the ceremony.

In 2003, we eloped. Best. Decision. Ever. But we’d always said in our 10th year, we’d renew our vows and have a more traditional style ceremony. 

Several days after the event, the photographer called me and said something that blew my mind: “I just realized why you and Keith have remained so in tune all these years; so in love. It’s your hands.”

She mentioned how every time she took a candid shot of us, my hand was stroking the side of his cheek, his hand was caressing mine, our pinkies were intertwined even when our entire hands were not.

There was a gentleness in our embrace. Most wouldn’t even notice we were doing it, she said. But seeing that, changed her marriage – forever.

I thought back to that conversation when I read this post from our awesome HWC contributor, Lori Ferguson.  If there is one thing almost every couple could use to boost their love and intimacy, it’s this.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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A hand is more than 4 fingers, a thumb, and a palm attached to a wrist. A hand - your hands – have the ability to show love to your husband. Your fingers are 5 little things that make a huge difference in marriage.

What can you do with your hands?

  • write him or text him a love note
  • soothe the worries from his forehead or the sides of his mouth
  • feed him bits and bites of his favorites
  • caress (ah yes, that includes where your mind took you)
  • hold, clasp, touch, his hands

Holding hands is important.

A while ago my husband and I interviewed a couple married 53 years. They had 6 grown children, and lots of grandchildren. But that wasn’t what stood out. They were a really nice couple – hard working and kind. Wonderful – but none of that made a huge impression. You know what sticks in my mind to this day?

They held hands – all the time! In church they held hands. (My husband preached at their church ever so often and told me they held hands all through the service.) While they spoke with their friends, they held hands. All through our interview their hands were clasped, resting on his thigh. When they walked together her arm was through his, and they held hands.

Imagine. 53 years holding the same person’s hands… through every event life brings. Nice picture, huh?

5 Ways to Hold Hands

1. The old-fashioned, nothing fancy, your hand in his. It’s wrapping your four fingers around his four fingers and snuggling them securely into the clasp a thumb provides. Did you know we humans are unique?  Not only because we have opposable thumbs, but because we can rotate our small and ring fingers across our palms to meet the thumb. Because of this “ulnar opposition” our hands have amazing grip, and torque ability. When times are tough – hold on tight to your spouse!

2. Start something good. While walking with clasped hands, use one finger to stroke his palm or the top of his thumb. When sitting, use both your hands to massage his hand and each finger. (It’s OK to take the massage a bit further.) Reach out and touch – if not now… then when?

3. Pinky swear.  Sometimes it’s hot – this hooking of littlest fingers is perfect. It’s fun. Playful. Swing your arms to add some breeze. Want some sizzle in your marriage? Hook him with your pinky!

 4. SOS Clutch. Send a message with Morse code – “short-long—short-short-” is the letter “L” in Morse code. Squeeze your husband’s hand to make a predetermined positive point. Signal your love with your hands.

5. Fingers entwined. You’re going all the way with this one – no hesitancy and sweaty palms are included! Fingers entangled, entwined, with the most surface covered – you and your husband are one. No matter what life brings – make sure you’re fully engaged with your spouse.

Reach Out

Touch is a gift. And when you’re holding your husband’s hand, you’re holding much more. Be gentle. Be kind. You’re also holding his heart in your hands.

Do you hold hands with your husband? Got a new way? Leave a comment!


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Teamwork Makes the Marriage Work

Teamwork Makes the Marriage Work

Teamwork Makes the Marriage Work

A mantra often quoted in the corporate world is teamwork makes the dream work.  What I’ve discovered in my own life is this is even more true when it comes to relationships and marriage.

A couple weeks ago, my Facebook status read, “London for meetings, Chicago for a conference, Bahamas for a wedding, New York for meetings, San Francisco for a friend’s 50th birthday – and that’s all within the next 4 weeks. Go Team Weaver!”

This is our life.  A bit crazy, utterly hectic, and absolutely wonderful.  We know we can do everything, as long as we do it together.  

Team Weaver is how we’re known to our friends.  Over the years, I’ve truly come to appreciate that title more and more.

I can think back over the past ten years, all the out of reach goals we’ve set for ourselves, the “unrealistic” dreams we put front and center.  Even some of the prayers we sent up, most would probably think might come back down with, “Uh, are you kidding?”  

But we weren’t kidding.  

We have a profound faith in one another.  We have a desire to see the other succeed even more than we desire success for ourselves.

Years ago, my former colleagues invited me to join them for a 5K race for charity.  The company was sponsoring a group of runners and I was asked to be one of them.  Here’s the problem.  I didn’t know how to run.  

I know, in theory, running is just about putting one foot in front of the other with greater frequency than you might for walking.  

That is in theory.  In reality, nearly every runner will tell you that running is about training; it is about endurance.  It is about learning to breathe properly so you don’t get winded.

When I explained why I couldn’t join the team, one of the gals said, “Oh, don’t worry about any of that. You’re only going to need to run one leg of the 5K.  This is a relay.”

If we look at marriage as a relay, we can easily see why teamwork makes the marriage work.  You can run at least twice as far.  You can climb at least twice as high.  You can bear at least twice the amount of weight.

Have you ever tried doing a seated leg press on a weight machine at the gym?  It’s not my favorite machine, that’s for sure, but it is incredibly beneficial for my glutes so I use it every now and then.  When I sit down, place both of my feet on the metal plate and push, I am able to press approximately 250 lbs. But when I reduce the weight to half and attempt to do the same with only one leg, I can’t even move the plate.

It would stand to reason that if I press 250 lbs. with both legs, I should be able to press 125 lbs. with one.  But just as that is not the case with this interesting little contraption at the gym, that’s not the case in life.  Teaming up with your spouse doesn’t just multiply the effort and results by two, it increases your ability to do everything far more than you could possibly think.  

The next time you’re shooting for an out of reach goal, team up with your spouse and see how quickly something can go from being impossible to absolutely possible.

Until tomorrow…make it a great day!

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