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Emily Henderson

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by Emily Henderson

It’s the holidays and I’m giddy with excitement that I get those people up there to myself for the next several days. But first a quick personal update about real, REAL life. Life is good, but has been more challenging lately and writing as if it’s been seamless seems weird, right?

We moved yesterday and Birdie is sick for the fourth time this month. First the croup, which was a 2am Thanksgiving night emergency room run accompanied by a dose of steroids. Then a double ear infection which led to an amoxicillin rash that left her looking unrecognizable for days, which also led to another reluctant dose of steroids so she would stop itching and scratching her little skin to the point of bleeding. I’m not done. Then a bad cough that sounded like she was choking all day and night, and now another bad ear infection with a really mean sore throat that makes eating or drinking painful.

There are moments of greatness, but overall the last few days have been rough – and that was the very abridged version.

So a vacation from life/work/social media could not have come at a better time. I have kids to cuddle (and probiotics to shove down their tiny throats), a husband to date, presents to pretend were bought for me (we know who really bought that new navy blue sweater), a house to decorate, rearrange, and decorate a different way (plus another house to stage to sell), grandparents to catch up with / rely-on (and THANK for their early morning baby sitting), many, many games of hide-and-go-seek to play, and more ready-made ‘homemade’ powder pancakes to flip.

Plus even more run-on-sentences to write.

I know that I’m wildly lucky and privileged to have a family and a house. Hopefully none of this comes off as me just complaining, because I love all of this so much. But a break to be with my family is important right now.

I love you guys. I love my job. But I REALLY love my family. They are the winners the next couple weeks.

May we all (and this is SERIOUSLY all I want) just eat, sleep, and be merry.

From our family to yours, we wish you merry, merry, merry EVERYTHING.

P.S. Thank you so much for supporting this blog throughout the year and especially through November and December when sponsored posts are on the heavier side (which is how we support the now 8 person staff). We only work with brands we love, and we work insanely hard to create great content for each post, sponsored or not. So thank you for supporting, commenting, engaging, sharing, and coming back. See you in 2017, my friends. I love you and this blog almost as much as I love that crazy toddler, sick baby, and patient husband of mine. Cheers 🙂

Thanks, Sara for snapping this photo from Charlie’s 3rd birthday party (I may post the rest of it in January). xx testtest

  1. Just wanted to say that I haven’t noticed any difference in sponsored posts. You must be doing it right!

    Happy holidays!!

    1. same for me!
      Love from Morocco/Italy (just so you know you’re loved from all over the world :))

      1. Merry everything as well and happy new year dear.

    2. Samesies!

      I actually thought the blog content was perhaps the most interesting these last couple of months.

      My absolute favorite posts ever are the makeover ones and the budget-friendly moodboards, but I’ve also seem some seriously great sponsored content on this blog.

    3. Sponsored or not, you always put up amazing contents. And your honesty about it is refreshing so thank you for that!
      Hope Birdie gets well soon and hope all of you at EHD have a very Merry Christmas! Love from Portugal

  2. THANK YOU for writing this post! As I am reading about Birdie, I realized this annoying winter skin is actually a amoxicillin rash. lol. seriously. I am adult and I have been super grouchy having only gone through half of what Birdie has this month. Merry Merry to you all!

    1. If you are getting a rash from amoxicillin then I think you are allergic to it. You should contact your doctor to tell them what’s going on. It can be very dangerous if you keep taking the drug.

  3. Thank you for all the gorgeous content you put out every week- it’s such an inspiration!! Enjoy your family time!

  4. A lovely post… I visit every day and have really enjoyed the past year of content, thank you. Wishing you, your family and every other person who reads this a Christmas filled with peace, love and happiness xxx

      1. Here here! Thank you EHD crew and to all a good night!

  5. I also didn’t notice the uptick in sponsored posts but always appreciate your honesty about those and life more generally. We’re all trying to do our best with what comes our way, whether we’re celebrity bloggers or regular old friends, parents, and people. Keep it up EHD team!

  6. Merry Christmas! Peace and blessings to y’all! (And hope your little bird gets better really soon!)

  7. Please don’t feel like you need to apologize for sponsored posts…..you gotta keep the lights on. & poor sweet birdie and momma. I so remember that stage of life with my now 13 & 11 year old girls. just remember she’s building a tough immune system with every new germ. hard to appreciate that though with a string of illnesses that send you to the er. Hang
    in there, keep fighting the good fight and keepin the lights on. You got this!!! Happy Everything to you and yours!

  8. Hang in there, Emily! Both my kids (now teenagers) had similar issues when they were babies and when I think back on it now, I honestly don’t know how we got thru it. It was so. very. hard. It does get better, though!! Their immune systems had to do a whole lot of learning when they were very young but I’m happy to say that now (having gone through all of that learning) they are super healthy!! Wishing you, your family, staff, and everyone a blessed holiday season and a fantastically, marvelous New Year!!!

  9. Where can I get the acrylic (white) ROAR sign on the dinosaur, too cute!!!

  10. Oh i have totally been there with that endless chain of illness with my oldest…life is crazy enough and it usually feels like we’re barely managing under the best of circumstances! throw in those curveballs like illness and it is hard, hard, hard!

    not to be all “someone always has it worse than you,” but I have 2 cousins with kids who have cystic fibrosis. when their kids get colds it can lead to hospitalizations and be life threatening. so whenever i’m feeling sorry for myself when the whole family cycles through a horrible cough/cold (like this past MONTH), I think of them and it gives me some perspective. good health is seriously the best gift in life, wishing it for your family ASAP!

    and I love your blog!

  11. with a newborn, I’ve been *grateful* for lots of content — something to read while nursing! — and a post like this encourages this soon-to-be working mother even more (that you still find fulfillment from your work while loving your kids and husband like crazy; you do it, so it can be done 🙂 ).
    Happy Holidays, thank you for what you do.

  12. Enjoy your time off!!! You deserve it!!! Hope your sweet girl feels better asap! Nothing worse than sick kids 🙁

  13. Hope Birdie feels better! You’ve got this! Get some rest, and enjoy the new house and the holidays!

  14. Thank you for all you & your team do throughout the year, Emily. Have the merriest of Christmases and enjoy your (well deserved) time off with the family!!

  15. Merry Christmas and here’s to everyone feeling better soon!

  16. I enjoy reading your blog and I really like you. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  17. Emily, enjoy your holidays. I have four kiddos, one of whom got croup frequently and ear infection s too- I’d see about allergy meds. Keeping my kids on allergy meds really cuts down on these incidences – I know croup is viral but for some reason allergy control helps so much! He had croup 5 times last fall, and once this fall. Hurray for that. I hope she heals quickly and you all have a beautiful holiday.

    1. I was just scrolling down to write the same thing. My little was just about this age when he started getting recurrent respiratory infections (and we began discovering his allergies to antibiotics). Many docs say allergies don’t start this young but new research is proving that wrong. We live in the same climate as you and this is the worst time of year for all of us allergy wise. Good luck getting everyone healthy and have a happy new year!

  18. Dear Emily, first things first! You are right to take few weeks just for you and your dearest. Although I’ll miss your posts greatly 🙂 Have the best holidays ever and see you next year! Cheers! All best to little Birdie! <3

  19. Enjoy your well deserved break!
    Your sponsored content is the best I’ve seen – you take the time to turn it into posts that are usually still enjoyable for me to read, and seem on-brand. I know its how you support your team and you give us such great content that I don’t mind the sponsored posts.
    Thank you for sharing your eye for design and all the other stuff going on in your head with us on the daily. Happy Christmas!

  20. Merry Christmas! If it helps, I had tons of ear infections when I was younger, and was also allergic to amoxicillin, penicillin, and e-mycin (aka all the medicines to treat ear infections!!) I’m sure it’s hard as the parents, but I barely remember it. It happened a lot, but I seemed to grow out of them. Best wishes Birdie does too, and soon!

  21. Please never apologize for your sponsored content, Emily!! This is a means of support for you and your family too, and us readers get the privilege of peeking into your lives because of this platform you’ve created as a business allows you to– one would not exist without the other.

    Happy holidays to you and your families, and sending well wishes to little Birdie– poor little munchkin! She will be better soon, no doubt. <3

  22. I agree, you always do sponsored content very well. So while I love the design posts, I’m never miffed when a sponsored post comes along. Looking forward to a great year of content! Happy Holidays to you and yours, and a Happy New Year!

    Goodbye and Good Riddance 2016!

  23. Love to you all. Sounds like you need some REST! Your plate is full, maybe take the extra things off that list and just enjoy each other! Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and everybody be well. Thanks for all you do. You have the knack of somehow making us all feel like we know you and you are FAMILY! Peace and Light!

  24. You’re doing great Em. You’re such a good mom and Brian is such a good dad. And together you make a team we all aspire to in all ways. Merry Christmas Hendos.

    And thank you for making my working days better. During crazy days as an engineer in a manufacturing plant which makes cable rail stair parts and posts I always make time for reading your blog daily. The content is always terrific.

  25. I read your posts every day, and while the sponsored posts can feel commercial-like sometimes, I appreciate all your posts because of all the consideration and work that shows in the final content. Have a great break with your family – sorry about your daughter! I’ve had 3 kids sick off and on since Thanksgiving too~

  26. ENJOY! You, your family, and the whole Emily Henderson team deserve it! Thanks for writing such a fun, informative, beautiful blog, and being open about how you make it work and what matters in your life. Lots of love!

  27. Everyday I start my day reading your blog Emily. You site brings great beauty into my life – so thank you for this window into your business and your life. As a busy working mother to a 20 month old I appreciate how awful life must be right now for you guys. I hope you all get some rest and good cozy family time. Merry Christmas Hendersons!

  28. Our 1 year old has been sick for the last 6 weeks with a couple of days in between each sickness. It is so DRAINING! Baby sickness alone is a reason to take time off, but then you couple it with the Holidays AND moving. You are a rockstar!

  29. Happy holidays! We just moved and moving with kids is NOT fun or easy. I hope Birdie feels better and you enjoy your holiday.

  30. Happy Holidays to you and yours! Thanks for always keepin’ it real. You’re a joy to read and your family couldn’t be sweeter!

  31. thank you for creating this for us. you are wonderful! hope birdie gets better soon and you get to enjoy everyone these next few weeks. can’t wait to see more snaps of the new house! <3

  32. As a mama with a baby exactly one day younger than Birdie, I feel your pain! Our monkey has been running from one sickness to the next for the last month, including a double ear infection and chest infection triple whammy and I’m so, so over seeing her sad and ill and not being able to make it all better. Not to mention that we’ve been taking it in turns to take time off work during a really busy period because she’s been too sick to have in nursery, and that we’re also catching most of her colds and stomach bugs. It feels like illness season has just been horrendous this year!

    So here’s to a few days off, some mulled wine and family time and hopefully a healthy 2017 – merry Christmas!

  33. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you in 2017! And the blog has been great lately (as usual)! So much hard work and thought is clearly going into it and we appreciate it! xoxo

  34. Wow, I don’t know what to say, but your post reads like my life two years ago . . . moving house with a kid with croup and various other maladies. So much happening at once, terrifying and exciting and draining. I hope you can slow down a little this holiday and do what you need to do. We [your many fans] have got your back!

  35. Merry Christmas Emily, family, and team! Your posts have been wonderful recently. We all need to buy items to improve our lives, homes, and generally make life easier and/or happier. Sponsored posts help us all find good products and use them in effective ways. Sponsored posts are not bad…they are real! Love you all and wish you the happiest of holiday seasons!

  36. Happy Holidays to you and your beautiful family! My daughter also got an amoxillian rash and it was just so sad! Hope she is all better by Christmas morning!

    I personally like sponsored posts because I love to buy stuff straight from the Internet and it is helpful when someone you trust gives you their feedback on it!

  37. Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family! I really enjoy your Blog and feel you help me out in my quest for a happy cozy home. So sorry to hear your little bird not feeling well. I hesitate to give advise because I know it can be annoying. But going to throw it out there. You might check into Gluten and/or dairy sensitivity if she continues to be sick. Battled for years myself and two kids with constant ear, allergy, congestion, etc…problems.

    1. Yep, I also recommend taking her off dairy and grains to see how she responds. Also, a mild heating pad is soothing to lay on with a busted ear.

      I had three reconstructive surgeries on my left ear after a childhood of chronic ear infections (in both ears), and I try to spread the word about the dairy/grains thing in the case that another person can be spared the pain. If it turns out to not be that, at least you’ll have ruled it out.

    2. I “third” these comments. After having these kind of chronic problems from Birdie’s age to adulthood, my health was radically improved by removing wheat/diary from my diet. My you all be merry & well.

  38. Oh Emily! Been there with the sickness, too. My baby girl got salmonella poisoning (followed by a cold)! HOW DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?

    Anyway, hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas and an amazing break!!


  39. Well, hopefully you’re not reading these comments, but if you are know that this whole move hopefully will help Birdie’s immune system. Having actual dirt to play in on a daily basis will help her immune system build up – see all the latest research, and this book https://www.amazon.com/Let-Them-Eat-Dirt-Oversanitized-ebook/dp/B01BL0YHCE. So happy for you all to get a break. Happy Holidays and have a great new year!

  40. Thank you for all the delightful eye-candy I get to see for free every day and the words of wisdom with a hint of self deprecation thrown in too.

    I hope Birdie gets healthy asap and that you all have a wonderful, fun-cheer-and-family filled holiday.

  41. Ohhhhh gurrrrrl, you’re in good company! Seriously, my son is five and just had croup. Say what now? Aren’t we done with this part of the program?? Sigh. It all passes, but here’s to a holiday filled with heavy pours until it does. Wishing you grace, laughter, good fellowship, and great food this week and beyond!

  42. I love all of your posts 🙂 So glad you keep our inspiration going with all of your gorgeous ideas! I’m not sure why so much negativity comes your way in the comments, but I wanted to reach out and say I am thankful for all of your hard work and sharing it with the world. You are very brave to put so much of your life on the internet.

  43. You and your staff get better and better…..thanks for letting us in on so much.

    May you and your family have a peaceful holiday, a more healthful new year and a wonderful time in your new home.

  44. Thank you for your honesty. I did not notice about the sponsored posts. You and you team are obviously doing a super job. I’m glad that family wins this time. Go ahead and enjoy some great times with them, you certainly deserve it. Can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the new house. Enjoy and be happy. Happy holidays to you all.

  45. I love this and wish for the same for Christmas!! Merry Christmas and enjoy this time with your loved ones!! Sending well wishes for a HEALTHY, happy new year!

  46. I have never had a problem with sponsored posts, but I have become even more understanding and enlightened since the podcast you did with Young House Love on the topic. Such good points were made and interesting information shared. So thank you for that and for all you do to bring beauty and light to our world! Happy holidays and enjoy your time off!

  47. As a mother of three grown adults, I think back and can relate to all of the stress you are experiencing right now…a new home to get decorated, Christmas presents to buy and wrap and sick little ones. I remember one Christmas when all 3 of my kids had chicken pox and….it was not a merry holiday! But, as the saying goes, “This too shall pass!” You will look back on this as a “Remember that Christmas in 2016!” I love your Blog and appreciate your honesty in all of your posts. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely Family! 2017 will be great!

  48. Oh mama I feel ya. We have had three sick boys at our house as well. It is so very hard to balance it all but I am pretty sure in your kids eyes you are a sparkly unicorn of happiness. Enjoy your break and your new home 🙂

  49. Thanks for all the great content over the year. Have a wonderful vacation and really enjoy your family! We’ll see you in the new year.

    Merry everything to you too!

  50. Enjoy your blog very much! Have a wonderful Christmas and a restful break with your loved ones.

  51. Well deserved vacation Emily! You and your team offer up inspiration for all of us throughout the year, and it doesn’t matter to me one tiny bit if they’re sponsored or not. You’ve built an incredible business you should be proud of, but you are correct, your family is and should remain the most important thing. Get some rest, love on your family, have some laughs, and keep on kicking ass!

  52. I would never think you’re complaining about your life. Stuff happens and you share it on your blog. It’s called keeping it real.
    Have a wonderful Christmas with family & friends and we’ll see you in the new year.

  53. Merry Christmas! Enjoy your family time. Hope sweet Elliot feels better soon.

  54. Have a great break, you deserve it. I don’t think you are complaining, everyone has challenging times and in a world of perfect posts and photos it’s good to remember behind them there are real people with real life stuff still going on and it’s great that you acknowledge this. Have so enjoyed the blog this year. Thank-you xxx

  55. Love the blog always, sponsors NBD, happy for all of you to get some play time. I hope that Birdie is all better soon and that you all have a wonderful holiday. If you get a chance, go see La La Land, it’s such a fun movie and anyone from LA will especially love it.

  56. Merry Christmas to you all! Have a wonderful break and I can’t wait to see your new house (and all the other E.H goodness!) in the new year.

  57. Emily, I have to be honest… no one in the design blogger atmosphere does sponsored posts as well as you
    Seriously, you and your team are amazing! You always make those posts super fun, creative, and memorable. Also remember the one you did a long time ago with the Epson printer? Your sponsored post was so good that my hubby and I went right out and bought it. You can sell, Girl. Don’t apologize for it. Consider it a gift. I hope you and your team have a great holiday break. Thank you for all of the amazing content in 2016. I can’t wait to see what you guys have planned next year.

    1. I second this. I’m someone who is design conscious but also super tentative about committing to buying things. If something has the EH design team seal of approval, I am way more likely to take the plunge and buy it. Seriously. Great job guys, honestly.

  58. I just want to say your blog is a great escape for me when times are rough and when I’m feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. The inspiration, beauty, style, humor and fun you share is a great gift and it always seems to cheer me up.
    So, thank you!!!
    Wishing a peaceful holiday to you and your family.
    miss u already!

  59. My youngest child, who is now 17, has had so many bouts of croup and ear infections I can’t even recall the number (or maybe I’m blocking it out-lol.) I was just reading an article on Dr. Mercola that was an interview with Dr. Lendon Smith, where he said if young children had a lot of ear infections, he took them off milk. It might be worth a try-I sure wish I had known to try that many moons ago. Good luck, and I love the new house!

  60. Love the blog, sponsored or not. Have a wonderful break and looking forward to more good stuff in 2017!

  61. Take care of yourself and your family! I will miss you while you’re away, but knowing more of the house will be revealed upon your return makes it bearable. 🙂

  62. Thank you Emily. Your blog is the first thing I click on in the am. Love to see what you and yours are doing. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family.

  63. Enjoy your break with that adorable family! You are such a talented designer, writer, and just all around likable person with your great sense of humor and happy personality. I’ve been a fan since Design Star. Thank you for all the information and entertainment (including sponsored posts- they are a-okay with me)! I hope baby gets well soon!

  64. Enjoy your time “off”… I too am insanely happy to have the next 2 weeks with my crazy 3 kids and hubby. It’s so needed and so important! Merry Christmas!

    PS: Have you ever tried pure essential oils… like DoTerra or Young Living? I swear by them for the kids (and us)… for keeping us healthy and keeping antibiotics to a minimum. Something to consider. Poor baby girl… hope she feels better soon!

  65. Merry Christmas to you, your family, your staff and your readers throughout the world.
    Enjoy your holidays!
    Love from France

  66. Happy Holidays Emily, Emily’s team and family!

    You are my go to for all things styled. I cannot wait to see what you you all post next year!

  67. Poor Birdie! Nothing worse than a sick baby! Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday season. And hoping I make enough money (how rude) in 2017 to hire you!!!!!! Bwhahahah!

  68. Hi Emily,
    This is my first time posting as I felt I had to share some information. I have three boys. 5,4 and 8 months. My first son was always sick as a toddler. Ear infection after ear infection. Leading to partial hearing loss. Come to find out he had a couple allergies. One of which was our dog. I have tons of “voodoo” things I do now. We haven’t had an ear infection since. I wont share them all (different vitamins, oils, silver water) but what I think works for us is at any sign of a cold or congestion I started putting garlic oil right in their ears. Then my neighbor gave me Truman’s Ear Oil. You can find it online. It is a life saver. We haven’t been on antibiotics for an ear infection since. Now that we have reached strep throat age I give the older boys Pro Kids ENT pro biotic once in a while. I can happily say my son has “outgrown” his allergies and asthma issues. Hope this helps. Also I have to say that I love everything about your website. You are great at what you do.

  69. “A husband to date.” That little nugget really spoke to me. Happy parents = happy babies. Good on you for nurturing that relationship too. It’s so, so hard to balance it all. Also I love her nickname is Birdie! I want to hold her in my (freshly washed) hands. Happy holidays to your beautiful family!

  70. Happy Holidays to you and yours, as well as your staff! You really rocked it this year! Have a lovely break filled with rest, recovery, and laughter. <3

  71. Just wanted to say thank you for such interesting posts this past year. I always wonder how you find the time to create the content for each post – I know it must be a lot of work. I hope everyone gets well and you and your family have a lovely and relaxing Christmas.

  72. The only blog I loyally read every day! You are doing a lot very right. This break is well earned!

  73. oh Emily I hope Birdie gets to feeling better and you can all get some REST. May your Christmas be merry and may you soak up all that time with your family.

  74. I hope your move was smooth and you got it done before the rain hit. Hope Birdie is feeling better soon and no one else gets it. It seems like people always move when they’re 8 months pregnant or the holidays hit, what’s up with that? We are all nuts! Anyhow, thank you for providing such a fun and nostalgic, for me, place to see what’s happening design wise in my old hometown of LA. Happy holidays to everyone at EH and families.

  75. Merry everything dear!!!! I wish all the best, for all four of you !!! You are all lovely !!! Quick recovery for Birdie and do exactly what you say: eat sleep repeat, that`s what I do too. Many kisses!!!!

  76. Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas!

    I’ve never commented before, but wanted to say I’ve noticed some mean feedback lately and have hoped you’re able to ignore them. Like most of your readers, I look forward to all of your posts. If one’s not for me, I just move on with my day. It’s never occurred to me your work should always reflect MY taste, budget, needs, etc. I love the variety.

    p.s. I was debating whether or not to get a trampoline, but thanks to the overwhelming positive feedback about them in your post about backyard play ideas, I’ll have two very happy kiddos Christmas morning.

  77. Enjoy your holidays! You’re doing awesome! Keep it up 🙂

  78. Me ha encantado tu blog. Sigue haciendo lo tan bien. Feliz navidad.

    1. My daughter had so many ear infections as a baby the ear throat and nose Dr wanted her to have tubes in her ear. As a last ditch attempt I put her on a gluten free dairy free diet and she never had another ear infection. At 6 years old I reintroduced both gluten and dairy back into her diet slowly. Now she eats both dairy and gluten and has never had another ear infection (she is 9 years old now). Not sure what the science is behind it but it worked for me. Best of luck!

  79. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Emily and clan and are enjoying your very well-deserved break! I had noticed a little bit of negative feedback in some people’s comments lately. I just wanted to say I hope you don’t let it get to you and I think 98% of your readers don’t need any justification for the amount of sponsored content that needs to be taken on. My blog is part of my job as well and it is nowhere near as big as yours (I definitely do not have an 8 person staff!) but I take on sponsored posts. My readership has been understanding about it but I think some people don’t fully understand just HOW much time writing and producing top-quality content takes. (Not to mention all the other stuff – lining up stories, emails, editing, sourcing, social media etc). It must be frustrating when people are getting something great for free yet they feel so entitled that they expect this fantastic free service to tailor to their EVERY whim. It is like some people expect bloggers to do it for nothing!

    Anyway, keep doing what you are doing. I enjoy reading every single post, your content is so good that it is irrelevant to me (and I’d say this goes for the majority of your readership) whether it is sponsored or not. Have a fantastic relaxing break.

  80. as a rule, I never comment or read the comments (because #internetTrolls), but I must say that I truly love everything about your blog! I have gotten so much joy and inspiration from this space, and appreciate your whole team!! Happy New Year!

  81. Take care of that family and yourself. Nothing more stressful than when your babies are sick. Much love and merry everything to you and your lovely family.

  82. can you pleasse provide a link to the info on the brass and marble basksplash in your old house? i have clicked on the “here” 6 times and it takes me to your current blog post. Thanks and keep on posting!

  83. As a fellow mom, I have often been in awe of how hard you work. Anyone who has tried to juggle it all absolutely *gets it*. On top of it all, your job is not a 9 to 5, and you can’t leave work at the office. You absolutely deserve a long break!

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