Well, wow.

I’m not sure what happened yesterday. I wasn’t expecting to write such an insecure-sounding post. But I’m glad I did, because your comments and emails were so, so refreshing and helpful. 
I’m probably not going to be able to describe to you how relieving it was to have so many of you share your thoughts yesterday. The answers varied, but there was a general theme of people being truly kind and welcoming and open and patient and accepting and loving. As I read your responses and suggestions, I realized that many of you guys actually know me. Thank you for that. Thank you for reading and for getting to know me. Thank you for being supportive and kind. I consider you all friends, and I have really, really fond feelings for you. (Sorry to be so cheese-dog, but I’m really feelin’ it right now.) There have been times over the last year when I felt like I was a laughing-stock, where I felt like I was bearing my soul to an audience ready to pounce on me and attack anything I had to say, just looking for the first thing to criticize–and it’s no wonder I didn’t feel safe posting with that image in my mind. Your responses yesterday proved that to be so, blessedly wrong. Your comments were a like tender conversation with a good friend–kind and loving, filled with good advice and acceptance, ending in a warm hug.
I can’t tell you how much I needed that right now. 
Yesterday gives me the courage and comfort to pour myself into this blog. It gives me the courage to speak. It gives me the courage to open up and continue to be vulnerable, putting my words and pictures and family and precious things and deep thoughts and not-so-deep thoughts out there. There is more I have to say–I have more to offer than humorous ditties. There are posts that are written, important posts, that are in my draft folder because I was starting to let fear overtake me. I was forgetting you exist–this group of people that is so kind and giving and wonderful. This group that actually cares about me and my life; that wants what’s best for me and my family; that wants me to reach deep and just be myself. Knowing you are out there, even if things get dicey and controversial, helps me to feel the courage I need to keep “keepin’ it real”. And I know that, statistically, for every person who left a supportive comment, there are many more who are silently supportive and loving and caring and amazing. Thanks to all of you as well.
I hope nobody has gotten sick to their stomach reading this cloying mess of “thank you” but I wanted to make sure I expressed it and expressed it well. Thank you for being you. It helps me to be me. 
In closing–and completely changing the subject–here’s a video of the girls after they find a dead bird. 
I love how Viva doesn’t want to show me at the end. She probably knows it would make me sad, as the death of birds generally does…is it weird that I also take spiders outside and let them live instead of squashing them?

All right peeps. Sleep well. And thanks again.