journal – thanksgiving & gratitude

I find myself easily distracted with my day-to-day, mundane routines. I find myself feeling frustrated, as though my efforts are pointless or in vain… which leads to a waterfall of dissatisfaction and ungratefulness. I discovered that keeping a journal of gratitude and happiness really helps me to focus on the happy and positive things in my life. Each day, I try to write down the happiest moment of my day… something funny my children said or did, laughing with my husband, having coffee with a friend, or discovering something new. I write down moments and things that I am grateful for… fresh water, a warm shower, graduating college, friendship, grace… I have an entire journal full of gratitude. Some days I write a simple sentence or paste in a clipping from a magazine, horoscope, or fortune cookie. Other days I fill pages with details about something special or meaningful. No matter how brief or in depth I write, I noticed that doing this reminds me that my life is full of good instead of focusing on the negative.

Thanksgiving is my most  favorite holiday of all! It’s peaceful, relaxing and fun. We celebrate what we are thankful for with our favorite loved ones. I love that there is no stress or pressure of finding and giving the perfect gift, but instead giving our greatest gift ever… our gratitude. So for this thanksgiving season, I have made a list of 30 additional things that aren’t already in my journal.

I am thankful for:

Cotton candy skies – a beauty created only by God. I love waking to the bright colors of the rising sun and adore the golden hues as it begins to travel to wake and bless others.

Good people – from the beginning of my existence, I have been surrounded with good and loving people…  throughout my entire life, wherever I go, positive, beautiful, and amazing people continue to enter my life… family, friends, and even strangers.

My husband’s voice – it is calming and reassuring… and hearing him sing makes my heart so happy!

Holding hands – with my husband, my children, my grandpa… I love the impact of this simple gesture.

That Ethan still rubs my cheeks

Our girls – our six happy chickens that roam around our yard (and our neighbors too), pecking bugs and giving us delicious, fresh eggs everyday!

Thrift stores and hand-me-downs – I love finding those little gems, saving money and reducing my contribution to consumerism.

The ability to see

Jordan – our friend who lived with us for 8 months this year. He brought endless joy and love to our home, teaching us all so many wonderful lessons. I adore his purity, innocence, and sense of humor. His life is a beautiful song!


My mother-in-law… she makes my life so easy! I love that we love and LIKE one another. She is funny, thoughtful and kind. She adores our kids and encourages our marriage. I can always count on her to help me out and to give me honest advice in a very loving way.

Michigan – I am so thankful that we get to travel to Northern Michigan each year to visit our family and let our kids explore beauty and nature at it’s purest!

Coffee shops – I love the smells and people watching

Laughter – it’s so contagious. Hearing my children laugh so hard that they have to catch their breath is the greatest sound in my world!

Random Acts of Kindness – we love doing this! But also, I’m thankful for the endless random acts of kindness that we have been blessed with.

My mom – who has always chosen to love me. She’s my biggest fan and my greatest hero. She is selfless and kind and gentle and beautiful. She still calls (or sends a text) every night to say, “Goodnight and I love you.” She loves my babies and taught me how to be a compassionate and dedicated mom.

A safe & cozy home

Bubble gum – blowing big bubbles brings me sweet happiness! I love the way it sounds and feels.

The lights above my kitchen sink – they make the whole room a happier place… and they make my time in there more enjoyable.

My midwife, Kathy, and her apprentice, Molly… they are amazing!! It is so nice to share a pregnancy with people who share the same views about labor and birth as my husband & I. There is no pressure or stress from them to do things unnaturally or to rush things along.

Healthy food & natural medicine

People who are so passionate about something that they devote their life to the goodness of their beliefs.

My husband… he is strong, faithful, encouraging, and honest. He loves God and our family with a fierce passion. He has always put us first and pays attention to the little things that make a big impression. He is smart, hardworking, and good with his hands… he holds our family together. He never gives up… even when it is (or could be) justified. I love how he teaches and loves our children.

Drake – our 13-year-old, super annoying dog. I am not a dog person. BUT I am thankful for this old guy… he makes my kids laugh, Amelie LOVES him, and he does make me feel safe.

Happy mail – I love, love, love giving and receiving handwritten card, letters and notes!!

Four Seasons – I love standing outside during the change of seasons… I love feeling and smelling the new air.

Homeschooling – I love seeing my kids learn, knowing that I taught them, and having the flexibility to teach and schedule as we like.

Messes – as much as they make me crazy, I’m thankful for them because the remind me that fun was had, memories were made, and we are real! I am also thankful that my husband doesn’t mind our imperfect house (he is the one who encourages and reminds that we live in our house… the kids are little… there’s better things to do than clean all day.)

Like-minded people – it is always comforting to fit in and to be understood.

Non-like-minded people – I always learn so much from the people who don’t share the same views, ideas, and faith as myself.

Alone time – or at least, quiet time. I really thrive on having some quiet time, especially solo. It helps me think, focus, and relax.

My Grandparents – I am beyond thankful that I have a lifetime full of happy memories with my beautiful grandparents. They built our family with love and dedication, setting an example for each of us to follow. I love that my children are able to grow up having them too.

My entire family – I love the way we love, support and encourage one another.

Ethan & Amelie – these two jellybeans bless me in unbelievable ways. They are creative and funny, generous and thoughtful, mess-makers, hand-holders, best friends, and silly storytellers. I love their imaginations!

Acceptance – of others accepting me, for my ability to accept others, and to be able to accept things that I have no control over.

Memories – I love reminiscing.

Teaching my kids how to cook – a skill they will use forever!

Healthy pregnancies and healthy babies – being pregnant and delivering my babies is the greatest, most wonderful thing I have EVER experienced!

My heart – it’s the best part about me

LIss - November 24, 2014 - 2:31 pm

I love you mae!! You are such a blessing to those around you and I adore your heart. I can never wait till the next time I get to see you because you exude so much of the good things in life. :) miss you babe! Hopefully I will get to see you soon!! 😉

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