Posts Tagged With: marriage

Libraries, Cheesecake, and Chandler Bing

Our Christmas Tree. We received our amazing Yoda tree-topper for Christmas, but our tree is only a few feet tall. Next year we might have to upgrade to a bigger tree to better accommodate Master Yoda.

Life has a way of slipping by when my back is turned.  I can’t believe it’s 2013 already.  Sam wrapped up his first semester of teaching a few weeks ago, and he is happy for the break.  His first semester went well, though his coaching duties made it very busy.  I started my new job at the end of November, and I wrapped up the semester on December 21.  It feels like I hardly worked at all before Christmas break, and I haven’t gotten a paycheck yet, so I can’t really tell how work is going so far.  I enjoy my job, but it’s a little underwhelming.  I only work four hours a day and each of those four hours is spent either bending over a copy machine making sure staples don’t snag or migrating back and forth between my desk trying to look busy.  I work very quickly and there simply isn’t enough work to take up my time.  I work with great people and the work isn’t hard, so I’m not trying to complain or anything.  Maybe that’s the problem– the work isn’t challenging.  After slaving away for A+ grades in college, I feel underutilized running a copy machine.  It’s the same work I did in ninth grade working in the principal’s office for P.E. credit.

(Thank goodness they let awkward, nerdy girls like me get P.E. credit working in the office.  They saved me from a year of changing my clothes under my clothes and going to my next class all sweaty.  I did end up having to take a semester of P.E. in 10th grade, and I’m not kidding about this: my friend, Erika, and I would bring athletic pants to school in our backpacks and wear them over our jeans so we wouldn’t have to change for gym class.  Our P.E. teacher would always have some random activity planned, like volleyball or indoor soccer.  She even let us try archery– that lasted about twenty minutes until she realized giving a bunch of high schoolers bows and arrows and letting them go at it might not have been the best idea.  For those that didn’t want to participate in the activities, she let walk laps around the gym.  As long as we were constantly moving during class, we got credit.  That’s how Erika and I spent a semester walking laps around a gym wearing jeans and sweatpants at once.)

Anyway, I actually have an interview scheduled for Monday.  There’s an opening in the high school library for a library aide, and I really want it.  The position is full time and would be much more interesting work.  I’ve always loved libraries; I see them as a haven.  It’s where I always go when I need somewhere very quiet and safe. I don’t know if the job will work out because there are several other applicants who probably have a lot more experience than me, but I’m going to try anyway.  There’s also a full-time secretary position that I applied for, too.  I guess you could say I’m casting my nets far and wide.

Sam and I don’t really know what’s going to happen in the future… We don’t even know where he’ll be teaching next year.  That makes it hard for me to settle down and commit to things like this, but I’m learning to take everything one day at a time.  A few months of experience is better than no experience at all.  I know whatever works out will be the right thing.  I’m still very excited about the idea of trying a new  job soon… We’ll see what happens.

So much else happened last month!  December was very busy for us.  We celebrated our first anniversary on December 18!  Sam bought me a gorgeous necklace from James Avery that matches my wedding ring perfectly.  I was shocked… I didn’t even hint for it!  He picked it out all by himself and I absolutely love it.  He knows me so well.  We enjoyed a dinner at Carino’s Italian (that’s our go-to restaurant; not only is the food delicious, but it’s where we went on our first date, the night we got engaged, and the night we got married).  Then, we went and saw The Hobbit together, which I loved.

December 19 was our chinchilla Rigby’s first birthday.  We got him his favorite toy (a bundle of sticks he enjoys chewing to bits) and spoiled him with treats all day.  We love the little fuzzball.

On December 21, the world was supposed to end.  As a joke, Sam and I invited a bunch of our college friends to an “End of the World Afterparty” to celebrate, and they all showed up!  We ended up having eleven people in our tiny apartment, and most of them stayed the night.  It was a blast!  We ate a ton of food and played party games.

Sam and Ian were a little exhausted the day after the party. (Sam is the Korean on the right, Ian is the Korean on the left.)

The next day, we went antique shopping in downtown Waxahachie.  Then, Sam’s brother and his family arrived from Indiana on their way to Austin for Christmas with Sam’s family.  We joined them the next day and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Austin. I did a lot of baking for Christmas!  I made a Christmas Checkerboard Cake using the same technique I used for my original Checkerboard Cake.  I also made my first apple pie!

The family helped celebrate my birthday and my niece Lizzy’s birthday (mine was on the 26 and hers was on the 28) by making us a panda cake!  I was beyond excited when I first saw it.

Lizzy even made me a Hello Kitty panda on the Hello Kitty dress-up app I downloaded onto my iPhone for her.  She accidentally upgraded it to the full version for $1.99 because I was dumb enough to let a kid who can’t read yet play with my phone.  Oh well, at least I got this:

We drove to Abilene to see my extended family.  We ended up playing games and I found time to see Les Miserables, which I also loved.  We made it home in time for Sam’s brother to pass back through on the way back to Indiana.  For New Year’s Eve, our friends Ben, Camille, and Anthony came over to celebrate.  We watched the ball drop online and I made my first cheesecake.  I tried a recipe from Betty Crocker for chocolate covered cherry cheesecake and it turned out delicious!  Everyone liked it.

Our house has finally started to quiet down. It’s a wreck and I have a ton of cleaning to do, but it was worth it to see so many people we love.  Now, I’m relaxing and watching Friends.  I actually saw my first episode of Friends during Thanksgiving when my older sister, Taylor, was watching one of the Thanksgiving episodes as a re-run on TV.  I know, I know– I’m about a decade late to the party, but I absolutely love this show.  I’ve been watching low-quality episodes online, and the box set is definitely going on my Christmas list next year.  The show is just so well written and the acting is great.  I’ve become emotionally invested in the characters.  I cried when Chandler proposed to Monica; it was just so sweet.

That brings me to my final point: Chandler Bing is one of the best men in television history, hands down.  He’s definitely my favorite character on the show.  He has such a kind heart and he’s hilarious.  He’s been through a lot of difficult circumstances, but he manages to laugh about it.  He’s good at making people feel better or calming people down when they’re stressed or scared.  He’s goofy and cute.  He reminds me a lot of Sam, which is probably why I like him so much.

So, happy 2013!  Watch this clip of funny Chandler moments, and let yourself laugh.  :)

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Too Great a Day

This weekend has been wonderful so far!  Yesterday, I got a job and Sam coached his first basketball game.  He finished up football season last weekend and he jumped straight into basketball.  He’s never actually played basketball, but they needed a coach and he was the one available to take the job.  He’s learning quickly, though, and he’s in charge of junior varsity so there isn’t as much pressure.

Is he handsome or what?  Basketball coaches dress better than football coaches.  He looks very official.  I’m enjoying basketball games more than football games so far because I know all the rules and can keep up with what’s going on.  Also, I get to sit much closer to Sam, which is always a plus.  It’s so fun to hear him give his players a pep talk and talk strategy with them before they hit the court.  They won their first game!  Sam insists that it was a fluke and that the other team was just exceptionally terrible, but a victory is a victory in my book.

Since football season is over, Sam doesn’t have to go up to school on Saturdays to watch film anymore.  The past few weekends, he’s been attending classes to learn how to drive a school bus, but he finished that up last week.  There was a scrimmage scheduled for today, but that got canceled so Sam ended up with his first Saturday off in a long time.  Two of our friends (Tyler and Ashley) were getting married today, but we felt rude trying to show up at the last minute since we didn’t RSVP because of the scheduled scrimmage.  However, we send them all our love and we are so happy they are finally married!

Because of our empty schedule, we were able to sleep in and take it easy today.  Sam promised me a big date night to celebrate my new job, so I decided to get dressed up and straighten my hair.  My hair is naturally curly and I usually wear it that way, and I’ve let it grow out over the past year.  In fact, I haven’t had a haircut since last December!  I didn’t realize how long my hair has gotten until I straightened all the curls out.

After I got dressed, I pried Sam away from his Xbox.  He recently bought two major games (Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II), so he’s been playing a lot.  However, he was more than happy to grab his car keys when I mentioned that I wanted to go out for steak.

We drove 30 minutes to Saltgrass Steakhouse in Cedar Hill.  It was so delicious!  We shared a ribeye and Sam enjoyed a baked potato while I chowed down on mac and cheese.  We also shared a delicious Sangria Margarita!

After dinner, Sam took me to two of my favorite places: Half Price Books and Barnes & Noble!  At the shopping center Barnes & Noble is in, we just happened to arrive in the middle of their big Christmas celebration.  There was a live jazz band, guys on stilts, and a huge Christmas tree.

We went inside Barnes & Noble and enjoyed some holiday drinks.  I got a pumpkin spice frappuccino and Sam got a peppermint mocha frappuccino.  When we got home, we realized we had accidentally left the heater on when we went out.  We didn’t mind, though, because it was wonderful to come home to a warm house.  Now, Sam is back on his Xbox playing with his friends, and I’m sitting here under a warm blanket working on my blog.  Life is wonderful and I love my husband, and this was too great a day not to share.

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Just Call Me “Employed!”

All ready for the interview! Here goes nothing!

So, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog (bless you), you’ll remember that I’ve been looking for a job for about six months.  You might remember the nightmarish interview I recently had, and the devastating phone call that followed.  I’ve applied for dozens (I mean that quite literally… I think the number might be close to 50) jobs and positions, and nothing has come through.  I finally found a shaky sense of peace about it all, but I kept applying to whatever openings I could find.

I was browsing the websites of local school districts looking for library assistant positions, when I noticed the local high school here in Waxahachie was looking for a “copy clerk” to work mornings part-time.  I applied just in case, and then promptly decided I would never hear back about it.  Lo and behold, a week ago I got a call from the assistant principal trying to set up an interview.  I was supposed to go in on Monday, but the interview got pushed back to today (Friday).

I’ve been so nervous this week!  I really wanted this job.  It was the first strong lead I’ve gotten since we’ve moved here.  The hours aren’t great (only 20 hours a week), but that’s all right.  The commute is less than five minutes; the school is just down the street.  Basically, they needed someone to run the school’s copy center, so I’d be making copies for teachers.  I’m more than qualified for it.  Since the position is at a school, all of the days off and holidays line up with Sam’s perfectly.  It would’ve been such a blessing to be able to have time with him during this very stressful time.

I felt great after the interview, although I started second-guessing myself after an hour or so.  They said they might not get back to me until after Thanksgiving Break, so you can imagine how excited I was when I got a call from the assistant principal a couple of hours after the interview.

I got the job!

I kept my cool on the phone, but the second I hung up I started squealing and jumping up and down, probably disturbing my downstairs neighbors.  I told Rigby and he acted excited (it was probably because I was feeding him a pumpkin seed at the time, his favorite snack).  I called Sam during one of his classes (oops) and he answered because he thought it was an emergency.  I might’ve yelled over the phone, I was so excited.  He said we’re going to celebrate later!

I’m so thankful for this opportunity.  Most of my paychecks will go towards paying back my stack of student loans (goodbye, next ten years), but it will feel fantastic to contribute to our family’s income and not pay back my loans with Sam’s paychecks.  Plus, like I said, it’s nice to be home.

Some couples have a easy first year of marriage with no bumps… But we’re not that couple.  Some say, “I hope all of our years are as wonderful as our first year!”  Psshh, no thanks.  It’s not that Sam and I have fought a lot (or at all, really), but we’ve had a rough year with the rest of the world.  My last semester of college ended in an anxiety breakdown that caused me to quit my job.  Sam’s semester of student teaching last spring was anything but easy.  We spent the summer living with Sam’s parents in their spare bedroom, which was hard after having our own house first.  Then, Sam started his first year of teaching and coaching, working 70-hour workweeks coaching sports he’s not familiar with and teaching a subject his students aren’t at all passionate about.  I looked for a job for months and months.  On top of it all, Sam’s mom had a stroke and is quickly declining in health.  All of this has given us the chance to cling to each other and support each other, but it has been hard.

God knew what he was doing!  Out of all the jobs I applied to, this one will give me the most time at home and with Sam.  No, it won’t give me the most money, but there are more important things for now.  I’m excited to start my new job after Thanksgiving and get back into a routine.  Most of all, I’m excited that God always follows through, even when it’s not on my schedule.

Now it’s time to celebrate!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  :)

I have so much to be thankful for!

Categories: My Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

October 30th is Sam’s Gotcha Day!

Happy Gotcha Day!  If you’re not familiar with that term (like me three years ago), you probably don’t know anyone who’s been adopted.  In the world of adoption, “Gotcha Day” celebrates the day when a child comes home to his or her forever family.  Growing up, Sam’s family celebrated his Gotcha Day on October 30th, the day his plane landed in Dallas and they got to meet him for the first time.  It’s a special day in the lives of any family with adopted children.  Here’s what Sam had to say about it in a post on his 2010 Gotcha Day:

Gotcha Day. I’m not sure if you celebrate this day with your kids, but it still remains important in my life. Gotcha Day is the day that I was adopted, which is October 30th. As a kid, my parents would treat me out to dinner (my choice of course) as if it was another birthday. We would eat cake and icecream, and then go upstairs and watch the video of me being carried off the plane that had flown from South Korea. Growing up I had thought that the day was about me, and how special it was for me to come to America. But now, at the age of twenty-one, I’ve started to see things differently.

This year I reflected on just how much my parents have given me in life. How  much time, love, and money they have spent on me without hesitating for a second. My parents were right in celebrating Gotcha Day as a birthday, because it was really like being born again, being given a new chance to live in a great home. I realize now, that instead of celebrating and honoring me all of these years, I should have been the one honoring and celebrating them. They have shown me the love of Christ and have given me more than I could ever repay. I love them with all that I have and try to make them proud.

So if you don’t celebrate that special day when your little child came off that plane and into your arms, I strongly encourage that you do so. Let them know how much you love them and how much it took for them to be with you. I hope that one day your children will understand just how much love adoption truly takes and that they too will appreciate you as much as I appreciate my parents. If you want to talk some more, feel free to call me. Love you all and God Bless.

 ~Sam

Isn’t he wonderful?  I certainly think so.  Here’s a picture of him on his Gotcha Day, October 30, 1989:

Look at those rosy cheeks!

That’s him fresh off the plane from Korea.  His mom, Sue, is excited to finally hold her new son.  His dad, Ron (in the background), is equally as excited.  I’m so grateful for all the hard work and dedication his parents put into Sam’s adoption process.  It’s a long road full of setbacks and uncertainty.  Without all their prayer and steadfast faith, I wouldn’t know my best friend and husband!

Sam on his big brother Glenn’s lap, looked after closely by his mom, Sue.

Last night, I couldn’t sleep.  Sam was peacefully slumbering next to me, and I had my head under my covers browsing Pinterest on my iPhone.  I finally came into the kitchen for a glass of milk and decided to find Sam’s Facebook post about Gotcha Day.  After I found it, I still wasn’t sleepy and it was 2 a.m.  I kept browsing through his old Facebook notes and found one of those classic “21 Questions” posts.   The last question he asked was, “Where do you think I’ll be in 25 years?”  This was on May 30, 2009, 5 months before we started dating. I answered, ” You’ll probably be married with cute little asian kids, who all are excellent spellers with fantastic vocabularies.”  That answer made me laugh alone in my kitchen at 2 a.m.  If only I’d known those “cute little asian kids” would be mine!  It’s amazing that, after reading that post from three years ago when Sam and I were strictly “just friends,” I was able to finish my glass of milk, turn off the light, and crawl into bed with him and go to sleep.

That’s why I celebrate Gotcha Day.  It’s the day that made what I love about my life possible.

PLUS, it’s the day I get to pull out one of my favorite pictures of adorable baby Sam:

Gah! The hair! The smile! The shirt that says “Brand New Texan”! So much cuteness!

Finally, Gotcha Day reminds me of the debt I owe Sam’s mom.  I have the journal she kept during Sam’s adoption process, from the day the idea of adoption came to her to the day Sam became an American citizen.  Unfortunately, Sam’s mom is currently battling the later stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, and she’s had it as long as I’ve known her.  When I read her journal, I’m able to see the strong and determined woman she once was, the woman I never had the privilege of meeting.  I wish I could sit down with her and express my gratitude for bringing Sam from Korea, for loving him as much as her other sons, for accepting him into her family and being the mother he needed.  When I read her journal, I see how much she wanted him and it makes me so happy to know he was (and is) so loved by his family.  It’s too late to tell her all these things and have them mean what I want them to mean, but I hope she knows.  I’m so glad Sam has such wonderful parents that loved him when his own parents weren’t able to.  Here’s a clip from her journal on the day Sam came home.  I always cry when I read it.  Happy Gotcha Day, Sam!  We all love you and are thankful for you.

 

 

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Proud to Wear His Name

The Panthers did not have a good week… The Junior Varsity team lost 54-0 on Thursday night, and the Varsity team lost 39-0 last night.  Did I mention last night was their Homecoming game?  It was pretty brutal.

A few weeks ago, I made a “Revell Sprit Shirt” to wear to the football games to support my favorite coach.  I didn’t really like the ones they were selling at the game, but I felt bad for not wearing the right colors to the games.  So, I went to Hobby Lobby, bought a shirt and some iron on letters, and ended up with this super cute shirt!

Wearing it to games is both fun and unsettling.  It’s so much fun to see Sam’s students rush up to me and gush about how much they love his class, how he’s their favorite teacher, etc.  One girl said she recognized me from the wedding picture Sam has on his desk.  The nice people at the concession stand always comment on my shirt and tell me how they love supporting the team.

On the other hand, the team hasn’t been doing well this season.  They’ve won one game out of the seven they’ve played so far, and they have three more to go this season.  Many parents are quick to blame the coaches for their sons’ performance on the field.  I’ve received plenty of sharp looks at games recently, and sometimes parents sitting behind me let their whispers carry a little too far.

Not only is this Sam’s first year of teaching, but it’s also his first year coaching football, or any sport for that matter.  He didn’t go to school to be a coach; he just ended up in the assistant coach position because that’s what his school needed.  He’s been working 70+ hour workweeks to get the team in shape and train them to play.  I think he’s done a great job so far, and I’ll tell that to anyone who says otherwise.

Maybe I’m just being a defensive wife, but I’m the one who sees him when he gets home from work in the evenings.  He puts down his bag, slips off his shoes, and goes straight for the bed to lie down.  He’s so dedicated in his work and he really cares about the team.  That’s why I never hesitate to wear my Revell Spirit Shirt to games.  I’m not ashamed of him.  I’m proud of him.

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If I Had a Brother

Those are my sisters, Taylor and Chase.  Yep, they are pretty, awesome, and pretty awesome.  Growing up with them was a big ball of emotional excitement.  Since I was the youngest, they provided me with years of gently (and sometimes roughly) used hand-me-downs.  There are tons of great things about having two older sisters, but since getting married and getting a crash course in the world of Men, I feel like a brother would’ve taught me some very important things.

For one, I don’t think I would be so terrified and appalled by the existence of bugs.  I would’ve spent so many years finding them in my room or getting them dropped down the back of my shirt that I might have developed a stronger immunity to their creepy-crawliness by now.

Our house was bursting with hairbows, Barbies, and glitter glue.  I feel like a little extra testosterone in the house would’ve helped me with my extended tomboy phase, which might’ve been caused by my lack of a brother.  I was the one who went hiking with my dad, made mud pies for my dogs, and asked for (and received) an awesome Hot Wheels track for Christmas.  Maybe I would’ve grown out of that sooner, or at least had someone to build loop-de-loops with.  Maybe I wouldn’t have been so painfully awkward around boys for the first two decades of my life.  Maybe by now I would be in the habit of wearing make-up everyday instead of owning a three-year-old tube of mascara that’s still half-full.

I would also have all those fun brother stories that other girls like to tell with each other.  Tortured sisters have an unspoken bond as they discuss the horrors they endured as children.  I used to know a girl who referred to her little brother as “Icky-Sticky.”  As in, “Icky-Sticky snuck in my room and spit on my pillow this morning.”  Or, “Icky-Sticky put grape jelly in my American Girl doll’s hair.”  I don’t have any of these stories, so I can only stand there and look sympathetic.  Having a brother would’ve given me stories to tell, as well as helped me prepare for any icky or sticky things my husband may do.

I wouldn’t change my family, of course.  Sometimes I just wonder what it would’ve been like to have a brother.  One thing is absolutely certain, though.  If I had a brother, I definitely wouldn’t need this book my father-in-law sent me to take care of my cluelessness about sports:

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Get Out of My House!

Ever since we moved to the DFW metroplex area, I’ve experienced an onslaught of creepy crawly creatures in my daily life.  The first day we visited Sam’s school, the town had a grasshopper infestation and the school was full of them.  These things were the size of tootsie rolls, and not the fun-size kind.  I could barely walk outside, and I looked like I was picking my way across a minefield.  So embarrassing.

I have a problem with bugs.  Most girls do.  Too many legs, not enough fluffy fur.  I am especially terrified of flying bugs.  I much prefer bugs to stay on the ground.  Of course, statistics like those featured in this video by National Public Radio don’t put my mind at ease:

At any given moment, there are three billion bugs flying around in our atmosphere.  I know what you’re thinking.  “But Callie, that’s not so bad.  There’s more than 3 billion people in the United States alone.”  Oh, no.  The three billion bugs applies to a .6 square mile column of land and atmosphere.  So, if you drew out a .6 square mile on the earth and put up a 20,000 foot fence, within that fence would be 3 billion bugs.

Yeah, it’s gross, I know.

The number one flying bug I hate: moths.  I find them absolutely terrifying in every single way.  Have you ever seen a close-up of a moth? They want your soul on a plate.  Sam loves to tell the story of the time I almost got us in a car wreck because I was screaming about a moth in the car.  Imagine my horror at Friday night football games in small-town Texas, when the only light around for miles are the stadium lights:

Evil.

Unlike most girls, I even hate butterflies.  But, you know, I can respect bugs.  When they’re outside, it’s their turf.  I get it.  They are God’s creatures and have their right to a place in the world.  That place is not my house.

Our apartment has been under siege over the past few weeks.  I don’t know if it’s the change of weather or if this is just normal for this area of the state, but I’ve been carrying this spray can with me everywhere:

Take that!

One particularly horrifying morning involved waking up to see a couple of cookies Sam had left on the counter the night before walking away.  A hoard of ants had taken over our apartment overnight, and they were all over our kitchen crawling in our sink and cabinets.  I cried.  It was so scary.  I can never again watch “A Bug’s Life” and root for the ants (but I can’t root for the grasshoppers, either… hmm…).  You can view the extremely disturbing picture here.

I’ve battled hornets the size of Hot Wheels cars.  I attacked a dime-sized spider who retreated into the depths of Sam’s Xbox.  But, when I don’t have my spray, I am a damsel in distress and Sam is my knight in shining armor, prepared to smash crickets (the crickets here have wings and can fly… they go straight for the face), destroy roaches, and crush flies like the warrior he is.

Now, if a hoard of pandas was invading my house, that would be amazing.  Hoards of bugs, not so much.

That is why I feel compelled to write a letter to the makers of Cracker Jack.  Last night at the football game, Sam gave a bag of Cracker Jack to snack on, and of course I went straight for the prize:

Money! Please be money!

Oh, bitter irony.  They gave me a pencil topper with ants crawling on it.

Not a good prize, Cracker Jack. Nuh-uh.

So, beware all you creepy crawlies out there.  I am armed.

Beware, man-killing bugs.  I have a bug-killing man.

Categories: My Life | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Me, the Sneaky Wife

I found these pictures on my computer, and I had to share.

One of my close friends, Jeremy, once told me that marriage is a war fought over a lifetime.  While I’m 78% sure that he was joking, these pictures are proof that part of my marriage is war, though our war is fought over issues like, “You’re the cutest” and “You’re the comfiest.”  Sam took the first set of pictures one night when I fell asleep during a movie.  They aren’t very flattering, but they show how funny my husband is.  He was being sneaky and left them on my computer for me to find.

Well, revenge is sweet.  One night a few weeks later, I caught this picture in our bed when Sam fell asleep on my shoulder:

There you go, folks.  If marriage is war, we are fighting a very sleepy and comfy war.

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