How to Build a Barn Door


Hey friends!

Today I am going to share with you the barn door we made for the mud room in our entry way.  Do you remember that room?

Here is what it looked like when we started building our new front porch….


This is what it looks like now…


To begin building our barn door we bought 10 2×4’s from Lowe’s for the main structure of the door.  Be sure your boards are straight before you buy them. :)  You could also use a thinner board, but we wanted our door to be thick and substantial.

how to build a barn doorYou may need more or less boards depending on the width of your doorway.  We cut them the length we needed for the height of our doorway and laid them out flat on our front porch and pushed them as close together as possible. 

To hold them together, we added 1×4 trim around the edges and for the “X,” and 1×6 for the middle of the door. 

Cy measured and cut the lengths we needed for our trim and then applied Gorilla glue to the boards where we were going to nail the trim on.

how to build a barn door


how to build a barn door

Before nailing the trim to the 2×4’s he made sure the bottom was even.

how to build a barn door

Because the width of the 2×4’s didn’t cover our doorway opening completely, Cy allowed for a little bit of an overhang with the trim pieces so that we could cover the door opening completely.  

how to build a barn door

He nailed the outside trim work to the 2×4’s with 18 gauge, 1 3/4 finish nails and his nail gun.

how to build a barn door

He repeated the process on the top, sides, and bottom.

how to build a barn door




how to build a barn door


how to build a barn door


how to build a barn door


We glued and nailed the 1×6 to the middle of the barn door.

how to build a barn door




how to build a barn door



how to build a barn door


For the “X” at the bottom of the door, Cy cut and measure a board the length of one corner to the other by lining up the middle of the 1×4’s in the corners.

how to build a barn door

Then he just pencil sketched where he needed to make his cuts.  He said he could have used a framing square to be more exact, but he was able to do it this way.

how to build a barn door

He did a great job because it was a perfect fit! 

how to build a barn door



He applied gorilla glue to the back of the first half of the “X” and then nailed it to the door.

how to build a barn door




how to build a barn door





how to build a barn door


He measured and cut the second board in half so that it would fit as the second leg of the “X.”

how to build a barn door



how to build a barn door




how to build a barn door

Once the door was complete, Cy sprayed the knots with primer specific for covering pine knots.

how to build a barn door

After we primed all of the knots, we painted two coats of Valspar white paint on the door in semi-gloss.

how to build a barn door

Cy snapped this picture on his phone and sent it to me after he had painted one coat…

how to build a barn door

We installed our door with a rolling door kit (that I will tell you about in my next post.)  And now it looks like this!…

how to build a barn door

I love it soooo much!  It is the perfect door for this space!  And I love how I can close it when our mudroom gets a little messy.  :)

Here is a peek into the mudroom…

how to build a barn door

Since this barn door is in our new entry way, and I just finished decorating that space for Christmas, I added a little wooden star ornament to the handle. :)  

Love it?  Pin it!

how to build a barn door


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My Inspired Room {for our girl}


Hello, friends!  I am sooooooo excited to share my “inspired room” with you today in celebration of the new book release from my friend Melissa Michaels!  {More about the book release and giveaway at the bottom of the post!}


I have shared sneak peeks with you of our little girl’s room, but today, I am showing the whole thing!  It is 99% finished, and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Girl's room collage

If you are new to my blog, let me introduce myself!  I am wife to the most amazing man ever and mom to four incredible boys!

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 8.47.20 PM

My life is full of dirt, smells, basketballs, geckos, and guitars.  :)

So why in the world do I have a little girl’s room in my house?  I wonder the same thing sometimes.  ;)

Two words….

God’s Grace.

By God’s grace, I found out about a wonderful organization called Project143 last October, and a seed was planted in my heart.

girl's room


By God’s grace, He prepared the hearts of my husband and boys to make room for a little girl in our family

girl's room

By God’s grace, a little 8 year old girl’s face popped up on our computer screen last February, and it was love at first sight.  He immediately placed a desire in our hearts not only to host her for the summer, but to adopt her into our family forever.

girl's room

By God’s grace, she has my husband’s eyes and a dimple in her chin like me.

girl's room

By God’s grace, he provided financially for her to come stay 5 weeks with us this summer.

girl's room

By God’s grace, we spent five wonderful weeks together this past summer becoming the family God had always meant us to be.

girl's room

By God’s grace, she has been cared for by a wonderful foster family since she was three, and by His grace, they want her to be a part of our forever family.

girl's room

By God’s grace, we get to see her sweet face every week through our Skype calls.  We do not speak the same language, but there is always a lot of smiles and laughter during our calls.  Love speaks loud and clear in any language.

girl's room

By God’s grace, she will be back home with us soon.  We hope to travel over to her country to get her before Christmas, but if not, she will be traveling here for Christmas with Project 143 again.

girl's room

By God’s grace, He has given my husband and I a daughter and my boys a sister.

girl's room

By God’s grace, I have a room full of pink.  :)

girl's room


By God’s grace, I am reminded of how much He loves His children….big and small.  :)  Oh, how He loves us!!!!

girl's room

And so this is my “inspired room.”  When I see this room….I see God’s Grace.  And my cup runneth over.

girl's room

{P.S.  I will be sharing more details about this room this week, so stop back by and check them out.}



Now to Melissa’s new book!  Y’all I have a copy of my own, and it is a BEAUTIFUL book!

You can get your own copy HERE.

And if you want to share your own inspired room for a chance to win this fabulous giveaway, click HERE.


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Details on our New Front Doors


So hands down, the number one question I have been asked about our front porch makeover is, “Where did you get your front doors?!”

wood front doors

I’m so glad you all love them as much as I do!!!

These doors were an unexpected blessing in this whole transformation.  You see, I have always loved double wood doors on houses.  If you just look at my front doors board on Pinterest, you will totally see.

The problem is that all of the ones I loved were way out of our price range.  I was hoping to find some old wooden doors to use, but the problem with them is that many times they are not as energy efficient.  We needed some doors that could keep the cold air out in the winter and the hot weather out in the summer. 

Our friend, Rob, owns a local building company, {the same place I was going to have my new office,} and he just happened to show Cy some doors that a customer had returned because they didn’t like them.  Cy’s jaw dropped because they were exactly the type of doors that we were wanting for our front porch!


These doors were way out of our price range, but since they were returned, Rob let us have them for a third of the cost. 

It was still more than what we really wanted to pay, but we knew it was too good of a deal to pass up, ya know?  So we re-allocated some money from one project to another and made it work, and I am so glad we did!

We stained them one light coat a dark walnut by MinWax, and added the Schlage handle set from Lowe’s.

front porch makeover


My favorite part of the doors is the glass.  It lets a ton of light in, but still provides privacy.  The funny thing is…I think it was the glass that the original buyer didn’t like.   Ha!  Oh, well…to each his own. :)

The company we got our doors from is called Elite Building Products.  Ask for Rob Blakeman, the owner, when you call, and tell him I sent you. :)  (Disclosure:  I am NOT getting a cut from any sales he makes from this post.  I just wanted to give y’all his information.  He is a super friendly guy to work with and does great work!)


Elite Building Products
242 Wilson Dr.
Nicholasville, KY 40356

Hours of Business:
Monday – Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Call For An Appointment


You can checkout Elite Building Products website HERE.

Or visit their Facebook page HERE.


Have a blessed day!

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Adding a Front Porch to a Brick Ranch


Hey friends!

Thanks for all of your sweet comments about my post yesterday.  I loved creating that gif to share with you.  However, I had some of you ask me to create a post with static pictures, so here ya go!  :)

I added some hyperlinks to some older posts that share more about the whole process of transforming our brick ranch into the cottage of our dreams. :)

I was looking through old pictures of our home when we first bought it, and I have to be truthful that I didn’t really have any good shots. I have this one picture below….

front porch makeover

As you can see, we tore down some trees on the left and right of our house.   This gives the front of our house a much more open look and allows you to see our house from the road. 

We also tore down the very ugly screened in front porch.  (I think we did that within 24 hours of moving in!  We were dying to get rid of it!!)

front porch makeover

For the time being, Cy built to new columns on the front porch because we knew it would be a few years before we could build the front porch we were dreaming of. 

front porch makeover


I found this picture of when we began the addition to our home about 6 months after we moved in.  The original ranch was only 1400 sq foot, and we desperately needed more space.

front porch makeover

The boys’ rooms and bathroom are upstairs in the addition, and the master bedroom and bath are in the downstairs of the addition.  In the future, we plan on adding a wrap around porch on the 1st floor of the addition.  We have french doors in our master bedroom that will lead out to that porch.  You can see them a little in the picture below…


Last year, we finally painted the whole house white!  It still looked like “a ranch with an addition stuck to the side,” but at least it was all the same color.  I knew that we would eventually get it looking like we wanted it to. :)

Painted brick exterior

So the house started looking more cohesive once the whole thing was painted, but I was still dying to get started on our front porch.  (Notice we didn’t paint the chimney because we knew we would be eventually tearing it down.)  We also added new shingles to the roof to match the ones on our new addition.

front porch makeover


For our new front porch, we enclosed the old front porch and then built a gabled roof out from there.   Luke helped Cy build most of the front porch out.

front porch makeover


We laid insulation on the part of the front porch that we were going to enclose, and then built the new front porch out from there.

front porch makeover

I LOVE the new entry way and mudroom that was created when we added on our new front porch! You can read more about that space HERE.

front porch makeover

We wrapped the new front porch with the same hardyboard siding from Lowe’s that we used on our addition. 

front porch makeover

We painted the whole front porch with White Dove (or dove white) by Benjamin Moore.  We had it color matched at Lowe’s and used Valspar exterior paint.

We also installed new doors (more details about that tomorrow,) lights, and gravel walkway.

front porch makeover

We added new mulch to the front of our house, but we haven’t planted anything yet.  We may plant a few things this fall, but most of it in the Spring. 

I am so, so happy to finally have a front porch to decorate for all of the seasons!

front porch makeover


*This front porch transformation was sponsored by Lowe’s.  We came up with the idea for our front porch and collaborated with Lowe’s to complete it.  Lowe’s is always our first choice when looking for quality products and supplies to use in our projects.  We have a genuine, authentic love affair with Lowe’s.  {I work exclusively with Lowe’s for that very reason!}  #lowesgirlforlife

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Our Front Porch from Beginning to End


Hey sweet friends! 

It’s Funday Monday!  {not really.  i’m just trying to convince myself!}


I was wanting to show you the pictures of how we built our front porch, but there were a LOT, and it was going to be a long {and maybe confusing} post.

So I got the idea to put all of the pictures into an animated gif so you could see the progression over time. 

I really like seeing pictures like this, so I hope you do too.  It shows our house from the first day we bought it, to what it looks like today.

Here ya go!….





Please tell me what you think!  

Can you believe it is even the same house?!  We have more plans to put a wrap around porch on the addition, and a two car garage on the left of the house, but that is later down the road.  I wish we had the money to do it all at once, but we don’t.  And good things come to those who wait, right?  ;)  It definitely teaches us patience, and I hope it shows our boys the value of hard work and perseverance. 


*This post was sponsored by my favorite home improvement store, Lowe’s.  All opinions and ideas are my own.  We have loved working with our local Lowe’s on this project!  #lowesgirlforlife

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How to Lay a Gravel Walkway


I am in LOVE with older homes…like 100 year old homes. Unfortunately, our brick ranch was built in the 1970’s, so it didn’t come with the “older home” character that I was dreaming of. Over the past four years, we have been renovating our home and trying to add some farmhouse character to the interior and exterior.

We recently built a new porch on the front of our ranch home. When trying to decide what type of walkway we wanted leading up to our front porch, I was drawn to the look and feel of a gravel walkway. They are definitely characteristic of old farmhouses, and they take me back to my childhood. :

Here are the reasons we love gravel walkways:

  1. They are easy to install.
  2. They are inexpensive.
  3. They are a fluid walkway material that won’t crack or break in colder temperatures.
  4. They can take on any shape you desire.
  5. And they are beautiful and charming!!

See why we chose gravel?!   It was the perfect solution for us!

how to lay a gravel walkway

We followed 5 easy steps to

complete our walkway in one day.


STEP ONE: Dig the shape of the walkway.

how to lay a gravel walkway

First off, you need to mark out the desired shape of your walkway before digging. We used line-marking paint to mark our walkway. It’s basically like spray paint, usually orange, that you hold upside down as you spray and mark your line.
You could also mark your pathway with a rope or even a water hose. Make your walkway as wide as you want it. We made ours a little wider since we were lining it with pavers.
Use a square-edged spade to dig your walkway a depth of four inches. You will want to check the depth of your trench with a tape measure as you go. Be sure to smooth walkway with a steel rake and then compact the soil with a dirt tamper.



STEP TWO: Add crushed stone to your walkway trench.

Once the dirt in the trench is raked smooth and compacted, line the trench with about 2 ½ inches of crushed stone.  We used Class 1 Sand from Lowe’s.  
Crushed stone is a mix of ¾-inch stones and stone dust and will give your walkway a compact base.

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STEP THREE: Lay Landscape Fabric
Next, roll out a layer of landscape fabric over your walkway.
You will be able to cut the fabric to match the shape of your walkway. To hold the fabric in place, you can use landscape anchor pins or spikes.














STEP FOUR: Install edging.

For our edging, we used pavers. We installed the pavers along the edges and used a rubber hammer to compact them.

The pavers we used are called “Allegheny” from Lowe’s.

sidewalk beauty



If you do not want to use pavers, you can install edging. I suggest a galvanized steel edging, but you can use what will fit in your budget. If your edging does not come with spikes like the edging below, you can use a soft hammer or a wood block/hammer to install the edging.



STEP FIVE: Fill walkway with gravel.
This is the fun part! There are many different types and colors of gravel that you can use for your walkway. Pick one that matches the style of your home (or your personality if you choose.) :)
You want to lay enough gravel to come about ½ inch shy of the top of the edging.
Be sure to rake the gravel out evenly so all of the landscape fabric is completely to lay a gravel walkway

If desired, you can landscape around the path with flowerbeds, sod, or lighting.  I’m loving these lights from Lowe’s!


Your new walkway will require very little maintenance. You may need to rake it smooth occasionally and add more gravel if needed over time.
how to lay a gravel walkway

(Confession:  We have NOT covered our crushed run with gravel yet.  We did our steps a little differently.  We put our crushed run over our landscaping fabric because we knew we wouldn’t be able to add the gravel just yet.  I am hoping to add the gravel in November.)

I am super happy with my new gravel walkway!  I know it will look even better once we lay the top gravel and add some new landscaping in our mulch!

how to lay a gravel walkway


*This post was sponsored by Lowe’s!  All design ideas and product opinions are 100% mine.  #lowesgirlforlife

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Gravel Walkway Inspiration {For our Front Porch}


Happy Monday, friends!

Hope you had a great weekend!  If you are on the east coast, I know you have been battered with a ton a rain.  I am praying for your safety.  

It has been dry and sunny over here on the west coast, and I have to admit that I am missing the cooler temps and the feeling of “fall.”  My time here is half way over, and guess what?!!! I get to see Cy and my boys this week!!!!  They are flying over here on Wednesday night!!!  YAY!  Please pray for their travel safety.  

I cannot wait to hug their necks!!!  

And I have got some more good news!!!!  Things are moving quickly on our adoption.  Yesterday, our sweet girl’s foster family got a visit from a lady from the government and found out that we are officially wanting to adopt her!  We didn’t expect this to happen so soon, so we are hoping this means that we may be flying over there to get her in November!!  Again, there are no guarantees because sometimes things get tied up in the court system, but so far, we are excited about how quickly things are going. :)

Here is a fun collage of her visit with us this summer.  I did it in pencil sketch since I can’t show her true picture yet online. :)

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.11.57 AM




Now to today’s post!  

I have a deep love for older homes.  Especially farmhouse style homes.   Something about them just warms my soul.  :)  So when adding on our new front porch, I wanted to give it an “old” farmhouse feel.  I started looking on pinterest, and I started noticing that many of the pictures I was drawn to had one thing in common….



Many of them had gravel walkways leading up to the front porch…




There is something so simplistic and rustic about a gravel walkway.  It seems that you usually find them in gardens, and they seem to always lead to somewhere magical.





 I have always loved the crunchy sound that gravel  makes beneath my feet.  

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 10.40.27 AM


The more I looked at these pictures online, the more I knew I wanted a gravel walkway leading to our front porch.  I showed Cy some of my inspiration pictures, and he loved the idea too.



There are many different types of gravel walkways that you can create, and I think they even look beautiful on newer homes too…



My favorite look is light gray gravel lined with pavers, so this was the route we decided to go.  Something similar to this pic….




Before I left town a couple of weeks ago, we finished our front walkway (sort of.)  We have filled our walkway with a layer of very fine crushed run to give our gravel a good sturdy base.  When I get back, we will be getting a little larger gravel to layer on top of our crushed run.

Tomorrow, I will share with you what it looks like so far!  I am very happy with how it has turned out.

So!  What do you think about gravel walkways for a front porch?  Yay?  Nay?


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Front Porch Lights {Third Times a Charm!}


Hey sweet friends!  I’ve missed you!!  

I sure hope you have missed me.  I have been MIA  for the past week because I have been getting ready for a big trip with one of my kiddos!  Today, we jumped on a plane to the west coast for the next FOUR WEEKS! 

Yep.  Not kidding.  {Wish I could tell you more, but I can’t.}  :(

Hopefully, I will be able to soon!  {wink}

But for now, I am on the airplane and halfway to our destination.  I wanted to take a minute to show you the lights we got for our front porch.  You may think you have already seen them, because you sort of have, but not really.  

Here’s the deal…

When I went to the west coast in August, my sweet, precious husband installed some porch lights.  Any normal wife would have been grateful and excited.  I mean….I was.   kind of.   I love my man, but really?  I’m a home blogger!  We’ve had this discussion a million times over the past six years.  He knows that he does most of the hard work, and I get to decorate!  It’s just the way we work.   I always “encourage” him not to pick out anything that is decor related because there is a one hundred percent pretty good chance I will not like it.

A few years ago, he installed a light over our kitchen sink while I was away at a blog conference!  We had had no light over that sink for a YEAR because I couldn’t decide what kind I wanted.  Sweet man of man, what was he thinking?!  We laugh about it now, and you would think he would learn his lesson, but alas…

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.56.55 PM

He picked up these lights at Lowe’s, and installed them while I was gone.  Now granted, they are beautiful lights, and I actually loved them, but they were not what I was wanting for our front porch.  They were a little too traditional and I wanted something more simple without any curlycues.  

I showed the lights on instagram and periscope, and many of you loved them.  But my fellow blog friend, Layla, agreed that her hubby, Kevin, would be in BIG trouble if he installed lights without checking with her first.  #crazybloggers

So we left those up for several weeks until I found some that I really liked, and he installed porch lights for a second time. 

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 1.56.00 PM


These lights had the simple look that I was after.  Cy was so sweet to take the other ones down and install these.  

But there was one problem….they were too high.  I didn’t say anything at the time, because you know…I wanted to stay married.

So I let them sit for a few days before I gently mentioned it to Cy.  I hated to say anything because I knew that he would have to remove some siding, cut different holes, and add longer wire, but I knew that it would drive me crazy every time I drove up the driveway.  We have wanted this porch for four years, and we needed to do it right.  Luckily, Cy agreed that the lights were too high, he just wasn’t looking forward to moving them for a third time. 

Since I needed to take pictures before I left for my trip, he spent about an hour moving the lights down, and we both are glad he did.  It looks much better now!  {At least to us!}



So what do you think?  Do you like these lights better, or the other ones?  You can be honest, ladies.  :)

Again, the other lights were beautiful, and would look great on another house, but they were not what I was wanting for ours.  

We are 95% done with our front porch, and I can’t wait to share the transformation with you over the next week or so!

Well, it’s almost time to land, so I gotta go!

Have a blessed week, friends!!!


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How to “Fake” a Wood Floor with Plywood {Our girl’s room}


how to fake a wood floor by using ply


This past spring, we were busy trying to turn our boys messy playroom into our precious host daughter’s bedroom.  We had to removed the pee-stained carpet {from our dogs, not our boys, ha!} from the playroom and come up with another type of flooring that wouldn’t beckon our dogs to continue to pee in there.  ugh. 

Here it is before we started clearing it out…


Since we didn’t have the money to install hard wood floors to match the rest of the house, we decided to lay some inexpensive plywood and paint it.  I love the look of painted wood flooring, so I was totally down for the idea.

Cy bought some 1/2 inch birch plywood from Lowe’s and had the guys in the lumber department cut the plywood into 6 inch strips.  Since plywood comes in standard 4 x 8 feet sheets, we were able to get eight 6 inch by 8 foot strips of plywood to use as our “planks.”  {The eighth strip was about 5 1/2 inches wide because you loose some width due to the size of the blade when cutting.}

Some of the cut edges may be a little rough and need a little sanding.  

We had a bunch of pictures of installing the wood planks on my husband’s phone, but it broke into a million pieces, and we do not have those pictures any more.  :(      #bloggerfail

I did take a couple of pictures on my phone of the boys helping us.  We let Jonathan and Luke install them floor to earn a little spending money.  After they pulled up the carpet, they removed any leftover staples from the plywood and cleaned the subfloor real good with Cy’s shop vac.  

Then Jonathan used the chop saw to cut the plywood strips the length they needed them, and Luke nailed the boards directly to the subfloor with a nail gun.  They completed the floor in one evening.  

diy wood floor

After all the plywood was laid, I swept it real good before I painted it with a (smooth/semi-smooth) nap roll brush.  

Painted wood floor

We used a roll brush with a thick nap and this oil based Valspar porch & floor paint from Lowe’s…

Valspar Porch and Floor paint

The color we chose is called Grand Hotel Mackinac Blue, and I absolutely LOVE it!  It was the perfect color for our sweet girl’s room!  This paint comes in satin or gloss.  We got the satin at first, but I didn’t like it.  The gloss was perfect!

Valspar Porch and Floor Paint

We painted the floors one good coat and then let it sit for 24 hours.  I suggest letting it sit as long as you can before applying the second coat.  Before we applied the second coat, we lightly sanded the painted floor in any spots that looked like there were tiny bubbles (which was hardly nowhere) with a fine grit sanding sponge and then vacuumed the floor.  

We let the second coat dry for over 24 hours as well.  It is a super durable paint.

inexpensive painted wood floor

I adore this floor!  There is something so quaint and cozy about a painted wood floor!  And it was super easy to install and very inexpensive. {less than $225}  SCORE!

Inexpensive DIY wood floor

So what do you think?

Do you like painted wood floors?




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We’ve Started Building our New Front Porch!


Happy May!  Can you believe it is already MAY?!!!  Oh my goodness, where does the time go?  

This weekend in Kentucky, the weather was spectacular!!  We got a lot of work done on our new front porch!  I cannot WAIT to get this project finished because we have been wanting to do it since we first moved in this house four years ago. 

 Here is our house the day we bought it


We built an addition three years ago, and this is what our house has looked like for the past year since we painted the brick (Notice we never painted the chimney because we knew it would eventually be torn down.)


To this point, our house has always looked like a ranch with an addition stuck on the side.  Because….well….that is what it is. :)

Our plan is to build a front porch with a gabled roof, sort of like the two pictures below… 




 The only difference is that we are building our porch out a little, with some actual living space, so it will be wrapped in the same hardy board siding as our addition to match.  Building the porch out will also provide us with an entry way and mudroom.  We will also be adding two gorgeous front doors to the porch.  

Sort of like these….



I am super, super excited!!!  I can’t wait to have a pretty porch to decorate around the holidays!  

Speaking of front porches, here is a post I wrote for ebay about 5 Simple Ways to Freshen Up Your Front Porch!

front porch decor


Have a blessed day!!

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