I've been listening to the rain and thunder for the past hour in the quiet of my cardboard-filled room. Somehow the girls are still sleeping. I don't know how, but they are, and there is no way I am about to change that. Sleep on crazy angels.

Moving into the house has been somewhat therapeutic for my brain and not because it's awesome to finally own a house (I could've rented for years) but because as we continue to unpack boxes, I find myself purging things I've kept for far too long. It's amazing how much you accumulate in 31 years. If you don't believe me, come over and look at Tim's t-shirt drawer ;), and he's only 29. 

I've started walking Blue in the evenings around our neighborhood and as I do I find myself peeking into the open garages wondering about each family and each life. The garages that intrigue me most are the garages that hold the least. Isn't that interesting? Most people in the neighborhood have shelves and shelves full of discarded and forgotten items, and I get dizzy just looking at them. I want to secretly go in and throw half of the items away. 

Why do we hold on to so much? I mean this literally and metaphorically. Unknowingly, we allow all this literal and proverbial crap to weigh us down throughout the years until we no longer remember what our raw state looked like. We let so much stick to us that we start looking like my neighbors' garages. Perhaps it's time to start the painful purging process. I know it's painful because I watched Tim grimace yesterday when I asked him to get rid of a few of his beloved t-shirts. You've would've thought I was asking him to sell Elle on the street (although sometimes that idea actually sounds appealing ;)). It was extremely hard for him as I suppose it is for all of us because each shirt or each item holds a memory.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and ask myself, Who are you? Are you who you thought you'd be back when dreams still existed? Or have you forgotten those dreams and settled into all the layers throughout the years? Lately I've been asking myself, Which garage do you look like? Which one do you want to look like? 

This past year I've purged a lot of the unnecessary items on my shelves. I still have a lot to get rid of, but I'm making progress, and sometimes yes...that progress has been painful. I catch glimpses of the girl inside breathing easier with less weight on her back, and my heart actually feels lighter each time I let go of that one criticism or that one hurtful thing someone said to me. I'm not saying I'm running from the criticism I've received because that is not the truth. I believe honest and healthy criticism is good for the soul, but it's not good after months and months of sitting on the shelf. It turns into an ugly monster when it sits too long so I'm getting rid of the monsters in my garage. 

Which garage do you look like? Do you have too much stuff weighing down your shelves? Can you let a few things go? I wonder what we'd all look like if we held on to less and let the proverbial crap go before it had time to accumulate. Food for thought.

**And a side note: My grandpa has been moved to a different intensive care level. I didn't realize there was more than one. When he went to the hospital last week, the doctors gave him very little chance to live, but today he lives still. He has huge obstacles to overcome, but he has the support of my family and prayers from several of you helping him on his path to recovery. Thank you, thank you for your kind texts and emails in my behalf. I always tell Tim that the one good thing that has come out of all this moving is the fact that I have some stellar friends all over the United States. I am blessed beyond words, and I feel so grateful for each friend and family member who writes me to tell me I'm remembered. 

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley