Sunday, August 2, 2020

Peeks and a Poll

In My Foyer

Yesterday was super and I need to share. I had a manicure and pedicure and I am now starting to feel like my old self. I ran into HomeGoods and found banana leaf cushions for my lanai dining set. The old cushions were actually quite new, but there was one soiled one from accident prone GG and I couldn't touch it and I kept visually him in it, so they are in a pile for Goodwill. Bye bye.

I have a HG story. I was in the gourmet foods section and an older lady said it was her first time at HomeGoods since this pandemic. She clearly wanted to chat. She said how wonderful it was to do something human and normal. I said, which is not like me, because I tend to be more private, that I got it totally because I had just escaped an abusive relationship and how wonderful it felt to be doing something fun and relaxing.

She started applauding. Two other women turned into the aisle and she shared my story. All three applauded, one with tears in her eyes. Wow. This really touches a nerve with way too many of us.

Here are a few photos of my progress. The wicker knobs for the laundry room arrived yesterday and they are so darling. I installed them. Unfortunately, my painters removed all the ceiling fixtures and donated them at my request, so there are rooms that are hard to take photos right now. Handyman to the rescue this week though.

Williams Sonoma Home Brass and Lucite Palm

My Foyer

My Foyer

Faux Silk Damask Column in the Guest Bath

Monkey Business

My Mini Bar

The Master Bath

Now, for the Gallup Poll. I am in a quandary as to whether to return to my exclusively interior design posts, now that my crisis has hopefully passed. Or whether I should continue to share news sometimes of this crazy personal journey that I did not choose, but as one follower said in an email, sometimes the universe taps you on the shoulder. I have mixed feelings, but I do want to add my thanks once again. Followers have emailed and texted me offering dog sitting, lodging, packing, legal advice, personal security advice, and more. Truly extraordinary. And I am energized every day by the supportive comments from you all.

Comment or email me on the return to straight Chinoiserie Chic interior design versus a mix of personal and design - your call. I am happy for this nice creative outlet and for all the support. Part of me would just like to put this all behind me, but I also hope that I may be giving others in domestic abuse situations support and ideas. Thank you as always.

98 comments:

  1. I vote for a mixture of the two. My ex left me after 26 years of marriage. I had to downsize my living arrangement and thus my possessions.
    I had to start over in every sense of the word. Who was this 50 year old woman going to be?
    That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

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    1. Thank you for sharing. And this has made me stronger.

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  2. A mixture of both. As you said, your story has struck a nerve with so many, and it really does appear that this may be a new avenue for you to pursue.

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  3. Most definitely a mix of both,I think there is a reason you have changed format,perhaps a greater calling. Much joy,glad you had a great day! All the peeks look adorable,everything will be just beautiful.

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    1. It is so healing putting my new home together, thank you.

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  4. I’m all for being real. Life is full of ups and downs and sharing them both makes a much fuller relationship with your readers.
    Your Florida friend and neighbor,
    Michelle

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  5. My vote is also for a mixture of both. I, too, have a very similar story after a 29 year marriage.
    I started over in a new city. Actually, Alexandria, Virginia.
    Your words are very comforting and I have so enjoyed reading all about the new house and your design plans. I love your strength and your fun attitude. Many good wishes!

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    1. Thank you. I hope you are enjoying Alexandria as much as I did, although difficult right now.

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  6. Both. Everyone has a story to tell and yours has resonated with so many of us. Love the decor but I would like to stay for the trip through your new life.

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  7. My suggestion - blog about whatever is in your heart or on your mind. As a "home-a-holic" much of that will be decorative. But as an amazing woman, much will be inspiring. Including the chronicle of your personal journey.

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  8. Like the combination...life & decor

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  9. Oh wow, that Home Goods story! Think of me as yet another "older woman" applauding from the aisles...but as to my preference, I'm going to put it back on you since you are, what, just 48 hours out from that horror showdown all through your moving week? My vote is for you to do exactly what you want to do every day from here on out. If you want to post a recipe, or a book review, or an article you read in the NYT, do it. If you're having an "I want this behind me" day, then that's how to roll. What I've loved is discovering how smart you are, how wise you are, how you had so much resilience to draw from, on the ground, in mid-crisis. The pivot you made from those good ole boy cops, 180 degrees to the professional ones 24 hours later, you handled them both with aplomb. Sending applause and admiration from your Fan in North Florida.

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    1. Dear Beth,
      I’ve enjoyed your design posts very much but, I’ve also been moved by what you’ve been posting in your personal life and what you’ve gone through. I can empathize wanting to put it all behind you, do you think it might be helpful to continue with posts about both design and your life? Moving forward you’ll have many good things to post that will be hopeful and inspiring. So as far as my input, either way you decide to post, I enjoyed your posts when it was just about design and recently been very moved by the more personal posts and how inspirational it was that in the midst of everything, you had the courage and strength to write and post about it.

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    2. Thank you both. I think an organic approach really resonates with me as I feel I have much I'd like to share and say both about design and life. I appreciate the encouragement.

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  10. A resounding both. We're in this together -- the good, the beautiful & the sh*tty. Happy, happy! Joy, joy!��

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    1. So true, and this pandemic has made it even more so. Thank you.

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  11. Beth, it's your blog. When you feel your creative muse calling, write what you feel. We may have come for design, but folks stay for the personality behind the words.

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  12. I vote for a mixture of the personal and design. In fact, I think you should write about whatever you want to write. I would welcome recipes too!

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    1. I would like to do that occasionally - great idea.

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  13. Anything and everything you’d like to share. It makes for such a more layered content, to relate to and to connect. Keep going

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  14. Both, most def!
    We are all "both" and we are all "friends" and friends talk about everything.

    Whatever you feel at the moment and however you'd like to talk about it or not is just fine. I look forward to your posts just the same.

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    1. Wonderful - I didn't want to be boring people if they had enough of this awful story. But it feels good to share it and it has clearly touched a nerve.

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  15. Like many others, I think you should write about whatever you want! Clearly you have connected with a lot of us in a deep way the last few weeks. Maybe that's a sign to continue to share the personal side? But, if you need the blog to be "lighter" for your healing process, then so be it. Really, I will continue to read just about anything you write about! Also, LOVE the chest in your foyer. Was THAT a HG find? Incredible!

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    1. Thank you so much. The Chinese chest is a favorite piece from Neiman Marcus years ago.

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  16. Such delicious little vignettes cropping up in your house! Like an appetizer with a hint of more fun to come.

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  17. Personally, I look forward to your post's every morning! So my vote is both! It's so much fun to watch you decorate your new home, so do what move's you! Cheers!

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  18. Both! I LOVE your design and your journey has been amazing!

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  19. I agree with all so far. You can make a difference so I think sharing both parts of your life is the way to go. Share what you feel comfortable about. You are educating so many people.

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    1. If I could do both here, I think it would be very fulfilling.

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  20. I think you should write whatever you feel like writing- you are doing fine. I am blown away by your many talents and sense of style, but I love you the most because of the way you have demonstrated how to deal with other people's garbage. It has inspired us all.

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    1. And garbage needs to be thrown out - LOL. Thank you.

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  21. Anything you wish to write, I will read with interest! But I echo the others on seeing both- we contain multitudes. You inspire me with your sharing. Thank you for your generosity.

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  22. Both, please! You’ve come to feel more like a friend than just a daily blog. Loving the way your home is coming together and can’t wait to see more!

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    1. Thanks so much - I am so thankful for my blog friends.

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  23. I've followed your posts for years but I find it much more interesting to know you as a person. The amazing thing about the internet is being connected with people on the other side of the country and the world! Your aisle encounter caused some tears because it shows how we do relate to others - thank God for that.
    On the flip side, the brass lamp is a winner!

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    1. All so true - the brass palm is a sculpture and there is a smaller one as well - I will use them on the Mercer table or the ledge, still deciding.

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  24. This is your blog, Beth. Post about whatever the heck you want to post about. I, too, am in awe of the way you handled this horrific and unfortunately, all to common, situation. You were spot on when you said this person is a bully, and you've set a textbook example for anyone that finds themselves in this situation. My hat is off to you!

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    1. Bullies are not only in school. He is not a man, but a boy who never grew up. Interestingly, all of his friends are from grade school.

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  25. I agree with all above: tell your story whether it's a HomeGoods score—on several levels—your decorating tales and your personal journey. I believe in the power of the story to heal, to make the truth manifest, to make us laugh. In short, be yourelf,as Oscar Wilde told us, "because everyone else is taken."

    On a similar topic. I just read in Vanity Fair a portion of Lacy Crawford's new book, Notes on a Silencing. Powerfully, painfully revealing of her rape at a private Episcopal church school and how the church and the legal system silenced her story. BTW, she grew up in Forest Hills. Years later, now an adult, she summoned the courage to set her story straight.

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    1. I suspect far too many women have a terrible story to tell.

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  26. As a post script, I adore that shade of green in the first picture. What color would you call that? And the WS brass palm tree lamp is fabulous! I'm fascinated by your bar, Beth, and, (just a suggestion), I think you should do a post on that. I tried ordering the Back Pocket mixes, but I wanted to try all of them, and they were out of the pack of three. (I shall try again.) I'm certainly not doing any entertaining at the moment, but I do enjoy it. I'm more of a vodka and gin girl, but that's because I like Cosmopolitans and Ramos Fizz's. If I only knew what to do with whiskeys. Hmmm... I am fascinated by the Monkey Shoulder whisky and the Gordon's Pink. (I love that it's called pink!) Until next time...

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    1. I call it Emerald Green. The brass palm is a sculpture, not a lamp, and there is a smaller one as well. I love them. I just ordered the mixes yesterday - there are four different ones, and you put your own assortment together. They are amazing. Pink gin has bitters in it giving it a pink hue. I am a browns girl, but am changing because of the heat here.

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  27. I think that you should write what feels important and meaningful to you. If it's too painful to continue to write about what has happened in your personal life, then stick to design. But it's your blog and I think it feels richer with you having shared what I would venture to guess has been one of the most terrible times in your life. I've enjoyed following your journey as you start over again in your beautiful, new home. We all came to your blog for your design stories, but personally, I have been reading more closely of late to make sure you have been ok and that you were able to successfully remove yourself from your terrible situation. I don't think we talk about domestic abuse enough as women and so many people think that it's only limited to certain socio-economic groups. Your story could help someone else recognize the signs or spur her to make a change knowing that you were able to, or for a friend to offer suggestions based on what she read of your experience. We don't know who we can help when we put our story into the world. I can see someone casually mention reading your blog and sharing what you have experienced and that mention being the catalyst for change in someone else's life. When I was much younger, I was a provisional member of our local Junior League. The woman who was running our training, a well-known, well-respected volunteer who lived in a very upscale part of our city, was murdered in her home in front of her 3 young children by her husband. Unbeknownst to her closest friends and family, she had been a victim of abuse for years. So many of her friends and acquaintances could not believe that this lovely women moving in the most exclusive parts of our local society had been a victim for so long and with all of her resources and connections could not help herself to escape. My point in sharing this story is that no one knows what happens behind closed doors if we don't share and try to get or give help, and violence and abuse cross all boundaries. It feels like your story was meant to be shared as a gift to other women. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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    1. I remember this murder. The couple was a member of our large church. It was horrifying. And then, if I recall, her husband tried to have some of her family members killed while he was in prison. It sent shivers through the community, but was also a big wake up call for many.

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    2. Wow, what a story. Thank you for sharing this. We need to shine the light of day on this issue, and the pandemic I'm sure is making it worse for many. It certainly did in my situation.

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  28. Would love to see both, but most importantly you write what you want. You’ve made a lot a life changes in the past month, share what you want of your journey and we will be here applauding you along the way. Look forward to seeing what you do to the house and how happy your life becomes!

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    1. Gee, so nice. I am already so much happier, it is amazing.

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  29. It helps! You may never know the life that it touches- The person who gets the encouragement that they need to earn a degree, to carry on after a great loss, to leave a toxic situation. Life doesn't happen in a vacuum and we are not alone. After all these years we still need Aretha to sing "R E S P E C T".

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    1. So true, and this pandemic is making many people feel more alone and isolated.

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  30. Beth, please do whatever feels right to you. I'd love both, as I have followed you on your personal journey. Your independence and strength is so impressive.

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  31. It’s your blog write whatever you want, we will still be here!

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  32. I vote for continued spontaneous and serendipitous posts...whatever is important to you on that day. I agree...your exhibited strength (both emotional and physical!) throughout your personal dilemma has been an inspiration to all. You don't mess around! And watching you curate the spaces in your new house is something to see also.

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  33. Do whatever makes you happy, but I think some of both would be fabulous. Feeling that one knows the person behind the blog gives it even more depth. We feel like friends!! And you simply must continue showing the new house as it becomes more and more yours. So exciting~ Cathy

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    1. Thanks, and you will get your fill of house pictures - LOL.

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  34. You should write whatever inspires you. We will all be along for the ride! I would love to read a mixture of decor and personal as we cheer you on but it is truly your choice and yours alone to make. On a decor note, the damask column is amazing. Your painter is a true craftsman. As for the WS palm, when you first posted the photo from their website, I really didn’t love it BUT, now seen in context and up close, it is spectacular. Can’t wait to see all the amazing things you are going to do in this house and also in your life!!! Your resilience is so powerful!!!

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    1. Thanks. My painters are the best - he is an artist and she is so meticulous. I love the brass palms - that is the larger of the two.

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  35. Ultimately you need to do what's right for you. I enjoy your decorating posts even though my home is a territorial style and decorated in so much differently. I feel I know you a bit more as a fellow human being as of late and I think you have brought an awareness of domestic abuse to many people. I would favor a mix of both but whatever you decide I will continue to be a follower of your blog.

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    1. "I enjoy your decorating posts even though my home is...decorated so much differently." Same! It's funny, I'm an interior designer [and botanical artist] with my own company, nothing I've ever done for myself or my clients has come close to what Beth has shown us of her aesthetic. But the minute she put out an SOS [I saw it on Reggie Darling's blogroll], I couldn't respond fast enough. Now that Beth has escaped Nameless, I'm less likely to come back for design tips than I am for demonstrations of how smart-as-a-whip she is, her level-headed take on various legal/social problems, and the like. Still though, I'm ever her devoted fan from North Florida. xo

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    2. Thank you both for becoming followers and I enjoy your comments very much.

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  36. I vote for a mixture of both. People become much more involved with the blog if they feel like they know the person, like you are friends.

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  37. As others have said Beth, I hope you will do exactly as your heart tells you. I’ve so enjoyed your blog for many years for exquisite taste and style. I’ve followed even more closely recently and respect your courage and openness so much. As you discovered in Home Goods there is a sisterhood of women who have survived these situations and further, we can now reach our hands back to help other women out. What grows in the dark dies in the light.

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  38. Oh, an the bathroom column is simply marvelous!!!

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  39. IMHO...Do what you feel and think..I like it when bloggers share some of their lives: it makes me feel as if I have another friend in another part of the world. And it makes us want to share our lives, also.

    It's a different world: we've all been through a lot with this virus. Than add just living our everyday lives and wow, it's a little crazy. I like that you've grabbed your life back and living it the way YOU want..That's guts, that's courage..

    I like your decorating advice: if you want to share a bit of your life from time to time: it's up to you..We'll be here!

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  40. Most importantly, write about what you feel comfortable with. But personally, I would vote to include some personal posts - why not? This blog is about your love of decorating and it is also about you. And now, is these stressful days of covid, isn't it nice to connect on a personal basis?

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    1. I agree entirely, with Covid I think blogs are a great way for people to connect.

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  41. I would love to hear both as it helps us navigate both life and design. You are helping others as we all do both everyday. Thanks for all the inspiration and strength you give us.

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  42. The domestic abuse platform is important to share. I would be willing to assist you with capital when you are ready to formally develop it. I too went through a similar situation as a much younger woman; but mine involved civil court proceedings and a sheriff on the day I was retrieving my possessions with the movers.

    It's more prevalent than you might think!!

    Your painters are masters... would they travel to assist me in Hilton Head?

    Your new home will be stunning; but unfortunately until he finds his next victim... you must remain on the offensive!

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    1. Thank you. As for my painters, if you email me I am happy to provide their contact info - they are wonderful personally and professionally. They called today to check on me.

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  43. I vote for a mix of both design and your more personal side, as the mood strikes you. I know we will all find inspiration in your lovely new house, but think many of us also want to see your new personal story unfold. You have touched so many of us by sharing your life at a time when you were so vulnerable, and I think your willingness to be open has help many readers.
    PS when I saw the green in your foyer, I thought, I remember when Beth painted the bases under her ginger jars that vibrant shade of green. You inspired me to buy green pillows that look fabulous against our black & white stripe cushions on the outdoor wicker.

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  44. I just thought of something! You know what I think we'd really love? You mentioned back a few weeks ago that you were going to wear nothing but big dresses/kaftans in your new life ahead. Do you know how hard it is to find great kaftans? If you would research kaftans available online, then give us links to online sources, that would be such a treasure trove for so many of us living 24/7 in hot pockets around the globe. With many, many thanks to YOU, Beth. xoxo

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  45. Beth, start doing both and see how you feel. You can't go wrong because obviously, everyone loves you and your blog!

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  46. Wow...all these comments are proof that you are very much loved by your followers. I vote for both but you need to do what’s in your heart and what makes you happiest. Thank you for all the beautiful design posts and I feel like you have become a good friend since posting this terrible part of your personal life. Hugs! Gail

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  47. Here's something for those times you're feeling low. It'll pick you right up.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKn00A40uWE&list=RDGvQoYiMxZhs&index=4

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  48. Well, well, well....you have always had quite the following but now that you have revealed what a true bad-ass you are, in every sense of the word, you now have achieved rock star status....so well-deserved. Post about anything and everything that brings you joy and a strong sense of purpose. You may find as you get further away from this harrowing experience that you mention it less, but you are, certainly, forever changed. And those of us who follow you are changed as well. We all now have more knowledge and feel stronger (hopefully). What you have accomplished here is HUGE! Thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities and your victories. As much as we wish life was all beautiful furnishings and pretty lamps all the time, sadly it is not. I am not alone in being so proud OF you and FOR you! You are so loved.

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