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Wow, your writing blows me away again. And Danielle needed to bump into you guys - not anyone else- this particular day.

This post left me smiling with tears in my eyes. Thanks for the much needed reminder, Christy. (((hugs)))

Now you have a Danielle around the corner. I'm (almost) jealous. So sorry about the grant. I have been writing kids' books and getting nothing but rejections myself--okay, two books so far. Sigh. Let's hang in there.

PS: Print x number of photos (your faves) and buy the simplest album, the kind where you slip the photo into the little pocket. Quick and easy.

Such a beautiful post! You had me in tears first thing in the morning. You are a great writer, and I'm so happy you all met Danielle :)

We too lost all our photos last year. I felt horrible. One year later (last week) hunting through the kitchen junk drawer I found an unfamiliar thumb drive. Plugged it into the computer, and lo and behold: all our missing photos. I could've cried.

What a sweet story about Danielle. Elias reminds me of the seven year old girl who lives across the street from us - she is the most outgoing, curious kid ever born. She starts hugging anybody within an hour of meeting them, and invites me over to dinner (without her mother's knowledge) every single time I see her. I keep a running count for her mother of the number of times I've saved her from surprise dinner guests :-).

I love this post! One of my faves.

Your writing is unbelievable. Your ability to self explore is so unique. I hope your family continues to see growth and prosperity. You surely deserve it. Your fishing pictures are outstanding too; like the rest of your photography.

Can you put the pictures on a CD? That's fast, and then you can print some later, or even, when finances permit, use on online service for better quality prints than you can do at home unless your printer is very good. I faced this whole issue recently myself. I e-mail the best pictures to myself and use the Web-based e-mail as storage also.
What a valuable post this was. I hope Danielle turns out to be the treasure of a neighbor she seems so far.

A wonderful reminder that who we think we are on the inside often isn't reflected in the eyes of those who see our outsides. A beautiful post, Christy.

Loved this post- Danielle's letter brought tears to my eyes. You write so beautifully of the struggles and joys of being a mom- I always feel a little less alone after reading your blog!

you know what they say about computers," backup and reboot." or do they say that about life sometimes....hum.

Whew. I was holding my breath through much of this post. So glad. For all of it, but especially for Danielle.

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. valerie

I would give you a grant for this post, Christy!

You all make me cry with your words of support and understanding. Thank you!

To add to the irony, my brother called me this morning to say that during unpacking from his recent move from Seattle to Vermont they found our old digital camera that we lost LAST summer after our trip East. So the same week we thought we lost all our pictures we will now get to see some that we wrote off a year ago. (Like Sarah, thanks for sharing your story!)

And we do have a backup for our computer but it got stalled downloading our info for over 48 hours so we thought it had failed us too. I promise to print out some pictures and save some on an internet site very soon. (I was relieved to have this blog with pictures when I thought they were all gone.)

And as to Danielle, I wish I could say she would continue to be our neighbor but she is an Americorp volunteer who flies back to Indiana this month so I'm not even sure if I'll get to see her again to tell her how much her note meant to me. Hope so...

Our computer crashed last year, and I thought we had lost it all too. Fortunately there are the wizards who knew how to recover most of it.
Just wanted to add that we have always had to print out lots of photos for our 8 y/o to use in her therapies, especially for categorizing and communication. She is especially motivated by these pictures of her real life. After trying all manner of albums, protective sleeves, etc. the one format that has been indestructible has been laminating with a somewhat thicker plastic they have at FedEx/Kinko's. Also have done collage posters (walgreens.com) and laminated those too. Not sure about you, but we need the indestructibility!

What this world needs is more Danielles, and more Eliases, and for them to find one another at just the right time (I got an unexpected and quite welcome hug from a friend I hadn't met yet in my waiting room today. Trust those moments are precious to lots of folks).

On another note, would you consider a tip jar? I know that I really value the words I find here and feel like you more than deserve some compensation for your work.

Your posts NEVER FAIL to move me. Sometimes it's just a nudge, a millimeter in a different direction; a new thought or a new way of looking at things. Other times it's like a tectonic shift as the plates of my existence grind into a new alignment and I feel wholly different.

I am always reminded by your posts that I am not alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. I would gladly contribute to your "tip jar" in order to facilitate your writing.

And if your MacBook goes haywire again, give a shout out. Have direct connection to Apple geniuses. Really.

I'm reading your blog in Indiana - Loved hearing Danielle is from our state, but wish she would be able to get to know you all better.

I thought she sounded like having a visit from an angel that day, and I bet she thought she'd had a visit from an angel named Elias at the same time.

An angel with an overly friendly dog. Neither one may have used the "appropriate" boundaries for meeting a stranger that day, but what an inspiration that they both followed their hearts to reach out and greet someone.

Hi Christy,
Blogs create the weirdest relationships. I know so much about you and you know so little about me! But I thought I would write to tell you--cause it might comfort me to get it down and might somehow interest you --that I just had the crappiest evening alone with my three n/t kids. (My husband is away on a business trip for a week.) My four year old has been acting like a freak for a week or two now: biting, yelling and throwing things (and I live in an apartment with disapproving neighbors in Zurich!) and all the rest. I finally got him to sleep and then my six year old did something relatively minor but it was the straw that broke the camel's back and I totally lost it. My losing it was ugly and involved a lot of tears, head slams against a pillow and what not. it reminded me of your SANE post in which you retreated to yor room to cry. That's what I SHOULD have done. And now (like you all too often are and for less reason) I am mired in mommy guilt. I demonstrated how not to react !
So why am I telling you this? I sometimes think you get our comments and we all seem (or I seem or worse, try to seem) so sane, cool, calm, supportive, Well, this is to let you know that with "LESS" TO DEAL WITH I STILL CAN'T ALWAYS HOLD IT TOGETHER. (ANOTHER source OF GUILT--WITH "LESS" TO DEAL WITH, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO do "better") I GUESS I AM AFFIRMING OUR COMMON humanity. (Excuse the unintended caps.) ANyway, right now I am having the strangest feeling that I want to put my head down on your kitchen table and have a good cry. Isn't that wack? But that's the internet for you.
PS: Maybe you shouldn't post this? It's a little strange and rambly...

Never knew you could have a tip jar on a blog so thanks Bec for suggesting it--I'll look into it more and I'm so honored by the thought of you and karolyn offering to contribute to help facilitate my writing. It blows me away really. I love the connection that blogging creates and will continue to find time to write (b/c I need to for my own sanity) regardless of money or time even if I could always use more of both. I mean, can't we all?

And thanks again to all of you for your words here! I like the laminate picture idea Kate J...hmmmm. Lots to chew on...

Danielle in Zurich, I read your comment after publishing my reply above and decided to publish it only because I know I can relate, so my guess is that other readers here can too.

Just last night at a friends' house for dinner I carried Elias by his arms up a whole flight of stairs because he went after his sister and I cant tell you how many times I've had to hold back from grabbing him too roughly or, dare i say it, pushing/hitting him to to"teach" him that its not ok to push or hit. Crazy I know. Thats how I feel at times and my guess is so do most parents but we show our best selves to the world whenever we can. And yes that is one thing I appreciate about the connections i make with readers and other bloggers is that through writing and stories we share our inner selves, the ugly as well as the gold. Oh, and boy do I ever get the guilt, it doesn't matter where your child is on the normal spectrum theres always a bounty of "shoulds" and "could haves" and "what ifs"...

There's a virtual chair for you at my table anytime Danielle:)

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