January, Journeys, & Joy

Three years ago, almost to the exact date, I published my first piece on WordPress. Nervously, I hit “publish”. Writing regularly has been a lifetime goal. After many ups and downs in life, I had experiences in my soul that needed to come out and land somewhere. A page seemed suitable. The best part of my blogging beginnings? Finding all of you. Throughout the country and world sat others like me with words filling their souls and minds. Experiences that each held that can freely soar and soak into the like-minds of others. Technology shifted our worlds. Rather than sitting alone wondering if anyone “out there” feels, thinks, dreams, or lives in ways like you, fresh freedom becomes your new frontier. You’re front facing and forward. Others understand.

Together we can embrace the circumstances that circumvent our lives and bring change. I’m going to allow my journey and my joy to juxtapose-this beautiful contrast will be evidence of how I’ll embrace each day.

Happy 2023 my WP family, friends, and readers. I’ve missed you.💕

Have faith 💚


Please accept my apologies if I’m unable to respond to you today. I’m currently navigating situations that will, hopefully, result in a more regular routine in writing and reading! I appreciate your support, friendship, and PRAYERS more than you can imagine! Enjoy your day and I can’t wait to communicate with you! I’ll leave you with a quote and encouraging verse!

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”-C.S. Lewis

But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

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112 thoughts on “January, Journeys, & Joy

  1. I’m loving your contagious positive attitude, my friend! Thanks for having it and sharing it. If you ever misplace it and need someone to share it back, I’ve got ya! 😉 We’ve got each other. And others have us. And God’s got us all. We are in the best spot possible!

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Mama, thank you for this precious response! I absolutely FEED off the positivity of you and all my friends here in our amazing community. It’s such a blessing and comfort knowing we are all on this journey together. 💕 I appreciate you! 🙏🏻❤️

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Manette! My sweet Momma said something similar when I told her I just can’t be around negativity and toxic! Yes, we don’t always get to choose who we’re around~but we certainly have more choices than we think we have! Many times we are prisoners of our own doing! Thank you for your encouragement!

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    1. Matt, thank you, brother! I’ve learned so much from everyone here. 3 years is not a long time; yet, in some ways it’s hard to believe. I pray for MANY more years! Keep being you and thank you for your support and prayers! You have mine! 🙏🏻🤗

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  2. Good morning Karla! So good to see your post, to glean your voice from your inspiring words, to feel your love for this community and outward. I have your hand, I’m holding tight, I won’t let go. Love you to the moon and back. Hugs, C

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  3. The sun is shining Karla and low cloud are traversing the valley south to north like long white rivers. The clouds are so low that the tops are glowing from the sun above.
    It is a good reminder to me that it’s always blue skies, and attitude is all I control and each day I have much to be grateful for. I have been reading a wonderful (thick!) book my son gave me about two doctors in Ireland who are in a small town. It’s a Christmas book and it’s made me smile often. I hope your doctor visits and meetings go well, thank you for sharing light to me. – David

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    1. David, you’re an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your current views. You see the light and beauty-even in all you’ve faced through SO many years. How wonderful you have that attitude and I want to be that way. The book sounds delightful! I will stay in touch on your journey as well. 🤗

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      1. The author is Patrick Taylor – title: An Irish Country Christmas. I am certain he has other books also. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the character Miss Kinkade who is the housekeeper had a section in the end of the book in which she shared a number of the Christmas recipes on their table. Also there was a 7 page glossary of the Irish expressions used, and few pages from the author as a parting gift from the author to the reader. Happy to recommend the author. ♥

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      2. You had me at “Irish”! Sounds perfect! Thank you! For Christmas I did a DNA sample with Ancestry! One of my sons is “more” Irish than the other. I’m excited to see my results! Have a blessed day my friend.

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  4. Hey Karla, it is a powerful journey kind lady, asking of us that inner love to let go of so much that doesn’t matter and hold those things that do. Your newsletter is sharing you and your love, and as only love can do, in sharing it, it makes us stronger. Love, light and a beautiful energy returned in kind. You gave me much in sharing you dear lady, Newsletter and blog, may your journey have it returned in kind. Big hugs my friend, I am with you each step you take…as God is too 😀❤️🙏🏽

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    1. My dear down under brother…you always have words of love! You just know! I can’t thank you enough for accepting and giving out what we all need the most~love and compassion! I’m so grateful that you found my little newsletter helpful. I’m really excited to start writing more and “creating” such a format forces me to use parts of my brain that otherwise would stay dormant, lol 😝. It brings out the teacher in me! My return investment has made me a millionaire in the friendship and love department! Thank you for your friendship and support! 🙏🏻💕🤗

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      1. That beautiful newsletter is your heart in words to us all Karla, sharing what you’ve found in you. Dormant? Never! Sidetracked occasionally? Maybe sometimes 🤣 Don’t we all 😂 Keep your heart open dear lady, it is ever speaking to us and has much to say. Even in our silence it can speak powerfully. I was just getting itchy to see how you were going because of that silence…and you must have heard me and fired up this lovely post 🤣 Big hugs and take care Karla, and Finley too 😀❤️🙏🏽

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      2. Tee hee! Mark, I knew you hear my silence! I was itching to get a word out. Sidetracked ~you nailed it. But don’t we agree chocolate cures everything? Even brain freeze? I’ll keep my heart open always…even when my liver and pancreas hurt. Ugh. 😩🙃 Finley says thank you for the hugs. We’re sending them back with loads of love across a big ocean!🐾🥰💕🥰🤗

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      3. Thank you guys, I can feel it all even from this distance 😀 And if there is ever a chocolate shortage I’ll raid my storage for you and fire up express carrier to you. Can’t have that happening, it’s like no oxygen in life haha 🤣. Love and light to you both, look after yourselves and breeeeeathe, and take care 😀❤️🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Heritage Hall

    Karla dear ~ You may never know the inspiration you have been to me, but suffice it to say, I enclose you in prayer daily, that you will be completely healed and restored. … Ingrid, as well. Your courage and creativity will bring you through…. and imbue others with your spirit. Lovingly in Him + Mary

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    1. Mary, that touches my heart. It’s the power of prayer that keeps me going. I know it. I know Ingrid appreciates it. I do hope to remain courageous and wise throughout this journey. During the rough spells and stinky parts (my attitude) I remember who holds me in his hands. What a comfort. With love to you, my friend~Karla

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    1. Cindy, I always feel your love and hugs! I do hope you’ve been well. Thank you for being here and “taking me on” as a friend and fellow support. You’re such a positive light and it keeps me motivated! Big hugs and love! 💕🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m so glad to hear that Karla! I’m doing well, thanks. Rounding the corner with the remodel, hobbling from breaking up a dog fight and they rammed into my knee on the same side of my bad hip, 😱😡, the storms are crazy but I’m we’re ok so that’s the good news. I’m heading up the hill to bring some soup to my Dad who has no power right now if the roads are open. When it rains it pours but there is always light even when it’s hiding. Hope I didn’t rain on your parade with my mini rant. Love you dear girl! 😘💗😘

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      2. Cindy, I’m so sorry to hear these things. You NEVER have to worry about ranting with me.I WANT to know and pray and send love. Each challenge and hardship is what can bring us all closer in sharing our love and concern. We are supposed to help one another carry burdens. With that said, your precious Dad. 🥲I didn’t realize you lived where all the storms are and it’s such a catastrophe. We’re you able to make it to him? And the dog fight and your hip! Cindy, I pray a rainbow appears soon. I’ll walk with you in the parade and we can hold tight to the umbrella together. Love you! 💕🥰🙏🏻

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      3. Oh thanks my dearest angel Karla. I so appreciate that my friend. It feels like such small potatoes when I know what you are going through but you are right.

        “Each challenge and hardship is what can bring us all closer in sharing our love and concern. We are supposed to help one another carry burdens.”
        💗
        We need to honor each other’s process no matter how big or how small. Oh my I did and I figured out how to get in at 5:30 p.m. He was sound asleep and appreciative of my visit. I may write about it. I know right. I’m trying to see what the lesson is here but that rainbow is looking delightful. Thank you so much my dear friend.. I love walking with you under the umbrella and your love that is so comforting.. xoxoxoxo 💞love you too❣️

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  6. A sweet treat to read a post from you, Karla. I understand the nervousness of publishing a first post. We, your readers, are so glad you pushed through. Sending you hugs and love and blessings for the new year. 💖

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  7. Karla, Don’t respond — know that it is unnecessary and save energy as you can. You pour much energy and love into your posts and that is enough. Here is one of my favorite quotes, unusually for me it is not from anything particularly spiritual but from Dr. Who. (LOL!) I used to share it with my students a lot and with my kids. Thought maybe it would be timely for you:

    “Clara Oswald: This is just a dream, but very clever people can hear dreams. So please, just listen. I know you’re afraid, but being afraid is all right, because didn’t anybody ever tell you fear is a superpower? Fear can make you faster and cleverer and stronger.

    And one day, you’ll come back to this barn and on that day you’re going to be very afraid indeed. But that’s ok because if you’re very wise and very strong, fear doesn’t have to make you cruel or cowardly. Fear can make you kind.

    It doesn’t matter if there’s nothing under the bed or in the dark, so long as you know it’s ok to be afraid of it. You’re always going to be afraid, even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like a companion, a constant companion, always there. But that’s ok, because fear can bring us together.

    Fear can bring you home.

    I’m going to leave you with something just so you always remember: Fear makes companions of us all. -Listen, Doctor Who, episode 8.4”

    Love and Joy to you, Dear Karla, Jane

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you Karla for your presence… May God protect you! Happy New Year and above all good health to you and your whole family. Peace, justice, love and freedom for all oppressed peoples. Friendly kisses from Auvergne (France). ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Ginger Salvatore

    My comment from yesterday seems to have been eaten up by WP! I will attempt to send it again.

    🎉🎊💥Happy New Year Karla and Finley. This is a happy day for me to receive a post from you. I’ve been thinking about you and praying for you. So we’re finally done with 2022….no loss there as far as I’m concerned. Now we can concentrate on the promises of good things to come in 2023.

    I’m so glad I decided to follow you instead of just reading your comments on Pam’s blog. You would be an inspiration to anyone, no matter what they’re going through. You could encourage a sloth to do the jitterbug in quicksand! 🤗

    Clearly you’ve taken inventory of your situation and come to a decision about how you will proceed. Not an easy thing to do, but very necessary for you and your family. I applaud you Karla and support you every step of the way.

    I sure don’t want to see you gallivanting in the gutter, but if you did, you would do it with class. You are a class act my friend. I’m glad we “met”.

    Wishing you the very best in this new year. May each day become easier to navigate and find you getting stronger and closer to your goal.

    Give sweet Miss Finley kisses and a belly rub from me please. You couldn’t have a better friend or companion.

    Ginger

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ginger, I’m so glad we met, too! Thank you for always providing support and encouragement. I giggle at some of your phrases that I’ve never heard before! You have a way with words,…and a way with the heart 💕. I’m still giggling over the sloth jitterbugging! Like you, I’m glad 2022 is gone. It definitely tried to get the best of me so I guess I should thank it in some ways for “sharpening my skills” of survival. I have renewed hope. I earnestly try for that daily,…but there’s something about a new year that gives greater hope (remember how excited we all were after the “year” of Covid). This morning my body was achy and I felt icky. After my devotion time I kicked my rear in gear (not too far though, lol) and said to myself, “You have a choice, Karla.” I choose joy! No matter what! I’m pretty sure Finley was mocking my words. Her little head turned in agreement. She IS the best tiny friend and she wants me to give you kisses and hugs back! She absolutely loves the love! Thank you, Ginger, for being you. Your love and encouragement are motivating! We wish nothing but goodness for you! Finn and me 💕🐾🥰

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    1. Sue, happy new year, dear friend. You’re on heart and in prayers when I read my morning messages. You’ve supported me for so long and I smile at memories and love you dearly. I’m praying for a wonderful semester and great health for you. You’re an inspiration! Love you, Sue. 💕🥰 if you get down in this area please let me know. 🙏🏻

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  10. Hello Karla, It’s amazing to read your encouragement and uplifting words to others, even though you are battling. I can’t, won’t say we know what you’re going through, because we don’t. Only to say what you already know. You’re not alone. The faith and prayers you share with others are coming right back to you many times over. Bless you.

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    1. Thank you so much, Dale! It’s the most unbelievably fascinating and beautiful experience when one knows they’re not alone. This community, in addition to the physical community in which I live, has proven the positive impact of human connection in my life. Aside from family, which you hope one always can lean on (and I know how fortunate I am), I’ll never regret all the experiences and situations that have brought so many amazing humans into my life. I’m beyond blessed, Dale. I’ll never stop sharing it. How is your son and daughter-in-law settling in? I do hope you, your wife, and family stay safe and blessed, too! 🙏🏻 ☕️

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  11. My goal for the year is to bring more joy to the world. I do that by keeping joyless people away from my heart and soul. You my friend are full of love and joy. I have always loved that about you. My second goal, finish my second book. Let’s hope. Love you darling. Keep well.

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    1. Lisa, I felt your hope and joy when we FaceTimed! I saw it! I feel your motivation and desire to be around joy. We are both realistic that hard times happen. We acknowledge it. Me? I even cry and eat fries. Lol. I’m so glad we’re journeying together to try and NOT LIVE in despair, but to find joy WITH other joyful people! I just know you’re going to try and bust your goal. And if you don’t? It’s all still well! Joy can still be there! I love you, Lisa! Please take care. 💕🥰🙏🏻💚❤️

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  12. Glad — again! — to see you here. I think that communication has broken down because we’re inundated, over-stimulated, by stuff that is nothing more than reaction or designed to stimulate a reaction. In that environment, listening thoughtfully isn’t highly valued or, maybe, not even relevant? Sometimes I “read” something and wonder, “Do you know what you said?” Sometimes I write something (here) and wonder if anyone will read what I said or if they will react to something that hits them somehow, sideways, slonchwise?

    The conversations I have with people also sometimes seem like they are happening in an echo chamber. I remember sitting at lunch with a couple of friends who were carrying on a non-lunch appropriate conversation with each other as if I weren’t even there. When they looked at me and saw I’d barely touched my food, they commented. Seriously? The details of colonoscopies aren’t great over food. I didn’t think it was worth my saying anything but I haven’t been that eager to go out with them for lunch again. 🤣

    I think we’re more self-obsessed than maybe people were in the past? I don’t know — I didn’t live in the past. I’m sure I’m guilty of all this, too. 🐾🐾🌸💞

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    1. Happy Saturday, MAK 💚 I’m always so happy to see you! So is Finn 🐾😉. I laughed at the table conversation shared. I’m in that group now. Lol. I won’t go into THAT specific, but I’m finding many conversations swirl around health. Earnestly others want to know; I try to oblige as it’s out of kindness and care. I promise I will not talk about such things if we can go out! 🥰😘 Your statement, …”inundated, over-stimulated, by stuff that is nothing more than reaction or designed to stimulate a reaction. In that environment, listening thoughtfully isn’t highly valued or, maybe, not even relevant”, stood out to me. “Echo chamber”, too.
      Even in writing I understand readers have only they’d experiences in which to relate, negate, or even think, “Not my style, don’t need to be a reader.”
      Truly my communication issues lately are about the personal contacts. A “younger” gal showing me property who once never asked my name it looked me in the eye in the first 15 minutes of meeting. A “young” gal at McDonald’s who gave me a cold coffee and when I tried to tell her, politely, that it was cold, she snatched it out of my hands and barked, “Go around the corner and wait and now I have to make a new pot!” I ruined her day.
      Other examples: heads in phones and no eye contact, no reply in texts, lack of common courtesy such as “thank you” and “you’re welcome”. And “boundaries” that can hurt because some just don’t want to deal with the hard parts of life in which communication can possibly open doors, “stonewalling” because it’s easier to just not reply. I’m so guilty of having horrible conversation topics, at times, lol. However, I will do my best to be polite, give regards to other humans, and try to be a positive influence in how I speak and talk. My neighbor, almost 27 years old, is such a wise young woman. She amazes me. She is SO courteous, thoughtful, and polite. She even gave me a card! I tell her how rare she is and that her career must appreciate such a thoughtful communicator. I have friends and other neighbors as wonderful! I’m blessed! I must admit I put up my own boundaries of negative talk.
      I waited five days each for two return calls on very important issues. When I shared that I was glad to hear from “them” (about a roof and an an upcoming scan) it was as if I was just a bother. I always think positive and even share my regards to how busy they must be, or short-handed (the way of the world since Covid). I’m so thankful I have friends and family who love conversation. I love going to places and seeing families talking and cell phones down. Without my cell, I couldn’t text or call or keep up with family. However, I’d trade 20 texts in for a meaningful call that could be scheduled at a time that works for all parties.
      I’m struggling with my arms and hands. I’m trying hard not to be fearful of more limitations in writing and typing as it seems to be worsening. I pray to God to help me use my mouth appropriately and wisely as it might be the one communication tool that won’t fail me too soon. I enjoy our conversations, MAK. I’m so glad I get to communicate with you. Finn and I send you 3 love and hugs each day. 🥰🐾💕💙❄️

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      1. As I read this, I saw more completely again where I live. We have no McDonalds or anything like that. I thought of the phones and how that’s not a thing in my town. I don’t know — it’s a strange place, I think. People here visit, face-to-face, even young people. The young people you refer to here? The real estate lady sounds like she might be terminally shy and in the wrong job. And the chick at McD’s? Just rude. But yeah — This small town is really a small town. I forget that sometimes.

        But I agree with you that people seem to be very preoccupied and self-absorbed. Me too, I think. 😦 Much love from us three here in the Bark of Beyond 🐾🐾🐕❤️

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      2. That’s what I love about small towns! I’m so fortunate! I remember fondly my trips out West where I felt few people and little traffic in many areas. The small mountain regions where a small farm and home store, local owned grocery store, and other “Mom and Pop” places have all you need. I really am an old soul. I love coffee places and conveniences~and good conversations. It’s difficult for he losing some independence and relying more on being near things that I’ve avoided in the past. I’d appreciate your town. I grew up in a small town and love them!
        Finn says hello and we send our love on this sun shiny day. Some friends from AR are coming up and we’ll reminisce and talk of all good things. Nature for sure! 💕🥰☕️☀️🐾🤗❄️💙

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    1. Thank you, Joy! I feel excited just typing you this! This community puts a kick in my step! I’m feeling so homebound and truly understand how others must feel if they’re unable to get out or do what they did before. BUT I find the joy in the little things and try very hard to boost myself in that way! I’m so glad to know you and feel the joy you provide as well! Love and blessings sweet friend! 💕❤️🥰🙏🏻🙏🏻💚

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    1. Yes, Eddie! Yes! My heart has skipped with joy today for pains of fun are coming to fruition. Through pain there promise! With hope there’s happiness! I might even have fries today! Cheers to a sunshiny day my friend and neighbor! Hugs and love, Karla

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  13. OK, I have my prayer agenda for you, Karla. Two S’s: “stable” and “shrinking!” I won’t pray for you to catch that boat when time comes (far in the future), because I know there’s a deckside seat reserved for you with the most spectacular view in all creation.

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    1. Mitch, this touches my heart ❤️. I love your prayer agenda and appreciate your support, wisdom, and encouragement always. What a beautiful view to imagine…far in the future! Thank you, dear friend. 💚🙏🏻

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  14. Hi Karla! No need to respond. I just popped over here to check on you…to let you know you’re on my mind and in my prayers for stable scans and shrinking cancerous cells, and selfishly to share in your generously contagious spirit. I always leave here with an attitude adjustment. Love you, my dear friend! Thank you!

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    1. Crystal, it’s MY pleasure to respond! You are so kind and encouraging to me! It makes my soul smile knowing I can be of encouragement to you~it’s mutual! Your prayers are spot-on and so appreciated! I love you and pray you stay blessed and well! 💕🙏🏻🥰

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  15. Congratulations on three years of blogging, my friend. I am not sure when I discovered your beautiful writing and heart, but what an awesome discovery it has been. Your joy is contagious, even as you navigate uncharted waters. You know who holds your hand and walks with you, that makes the difference in how you are teaching us to view circumstances. I am sorry I am so late in commenting. There was a scary health issue last week, but all is well. You are always in our daily prayers and our thoughts. You are an inspiration to so many. Love, hugs, and prayers to you and Finley ♥️🤗🙏🏻

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    1. Thank you for such sweet words. Pam, I emailed you, but this was before I read this and about the health scare (I will email again). I’m so thankful all is well. I appreciate you and But h so very much. I know what a blessing it has been to follow you and know you! Your daily prayers and support are such an encouragement. I love you all. 💕🥰🙏🏻

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  16. Marcela Brue-Lotz

    Happy New Year, Karla!

    What a beautiful newsletter for the start of the new year! I just wanted to wish you well, and pray that your scans all show very good news! :You are in my prayers.

    Take care, my friend. Marcela.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Stacy. That touches my heart as I feel that way about you. The way you have handled your journey impacts me in many ways; I reflect and count my blessings. Thank you for inspiring me, too. I’m so glad we found one another! 💕💕💕

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