It’s no secret that I love to travel. I think I got the bug from my father. Most of my siblings seem to have been infected as well. My first international trip was to Europe when I was in High School. We went to visit my sister and her family while her husband was stationed there. I have always been grateful for the opportunity to travel and see the world. But the more I travel, the more I realize I have so much to be grateful for. I am so very blessed to live in this time and in this place.

We are very good at noticing the unusual or the different, but those things that stay the same can become invisible to us. Even those things that are beautiful or the people we love can become easy to forget. Unless, of course, we actively try to recognize and be grateful for the everyday things we usually miss. The president of our church, Thomas Monson, has encouraged us to live in thanksgiving daily. That is my challenge to myself this month.

I’m certainly not the first person to think of this idea, and I’m sure I won’t be the last but this month I’m going to participate in 30 days of thankfulness. To start, I’d like to share my thankfulness for all of our service men and women. Because of them, we have the land of the free. My sister has a rock out front of her house painted with the saying “land of the free because of the brave. I love seeing this reminder every time I visit my sister’s home.

For a service project this summer the women in our church (we call it a ward) were asked to put together pillowcases for veterans. I wasn’t able to attend the activity but I volunteered to put together ten of them on my own time. I quickly enlisted the help of two of my friends: Linda and Leona. We used a pattern by me and my sister designs. It’s a very cool technique, but a little tricky. Here’s a link to their pattern:

I hope that these pillowcases bring a smile to a few vets and that they know how grateful we are for their service.

As you may have noticed about me, I’m one of those that like to have visual reminders of my goals and things that are important to me. Clearly, my family knows me as well. My sister sent me the large tile on the left, and my daughter surprised me recently by sending me this pillow and a shirt with the same saying. I made the “so very blessed” wood slice and the “be the reason someone else smiles” tile.

This year I decided to make myself a large reminder to give thanks. It hangs on my front door and makes me happy each and every time I come home.

I have a few kits with the cuddle to make the turkey, just contact me at


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