November is flying by! Can you feel it, too? It always takes me more than one day to count my blessings. The entire month has been filled with giving thanks every single day. Small moments that add comfort and joy to each day have made my thankful heart overflow with gratitude…
These small moments are always there, we just have to be still and mindful to recognize and appreciate them. Cultivating gratitude helps me to keep my worries in perspective, cope with life’s challenges, and brings joy to every day! ♥
Early on November 1st, we headed west to spend time with my parents in Arizona. We cherish each chance to celebrate their birthdays together. I hold dear each day spent helping out, enjoying old family stories, and making sweet memories together. My parents continue to be our best teachers, constantly showing us how to live a good life and nourish a beautiful, loving marriage.
My mom is the charming soul who taught me all about gardening so long ago. It’s always a delight to take walks through the desert neighborhood where she has been gardening for the past 23 years. Last week, we worked together to trim her Bird of Paradise shrub and deadhead the Desert Marigolds. The bright orange berries on her Pyracantha shrub are visited daily by a family of quail just waiting for the berries to turn crimson and sweet. It was such fun to see a roadrunner in my mom’s garden one day. Autumn in the desert has been extra special this year!
Together we drove through the Tonto National Forest, past breathtaking mountains, to visit lovely Saguaro Lake. We have so many wonderful memories of hiking along the lake together over the past two decades. Seeing mighty Saguaros growing along the water always amazes me!
While heading back to the Midwest, I admired the majestic, snow capped mountains of New Mexico and the earthy, patchwork quilt of the heartland. The natural beauty of our country always fills me with hope for this land that I love.
I thought about the excited (but nervous) three young men and four young women that I met at our boarding gate just hours before. They talked about how excited they were to shovel snow for the first time. (I promised them a lot of snow during their two months in Illinois!) I wanted to be among the first to thank these young Americans for their service, as they headed off to Navy boot camp at Great Lakes Naval Station. These young men and women and their families will sacrifice so much for all of us. We owe them our deepest gratitude.
It feels wonderful to be back home again in our cozy Midwest home just in time for the holidays! The seasons changed while we were away. Snowflakes fell upon my garden, but there were still a few reminders of glorious summer days in my beloved garden. Yesterday I raked so many leaves! It was a quiet, poignant time to reflect on all of the changes of the past year.
Throughout the year, my heart is filled with the blessings of two passions that help me blossom and grow in new ways. While my perennial and herb gardens sleep through the Winter, there will now be much more time in my little Paper Garden studio downstairs.
Kindness has always been one of my love languages. Creating handmade cards to share with family and friends truly warms my heart. I find the most wonderful stamps, dies, inks, and paper at Papertrey Ink. (So grateful for the new supplies that will arrive in my mailbox today! 🙂 ) Time spent designing special cards always nourishes my creative heart and soul.
I just love thinking about those I hold dear as I create each card. It feels like a little ‘visit’ with them as I stamp, ink, cut, and emboss. Lettering the envelope, adding a special postage stamp, and dropping it into the mailbox makes sending my little ‘paper hugs’ such a happy, little thing!
I’ve been busy making extra Thanksgiving cards for the dear friends and neighbors who watched over our home while we were away helping my parents. For me, hand-delivering cards is always a special part of the joy of card making!
This little ‘paper hug’ is especially for all of the dear friends who gather here to read and leave their thoughts on our blog. 🙂 I cherish your kindness all year long. I am humbled by the worldwide visitors who take time to visit each day. We are a small, but wonderful group who constantly remind me of everything good in the world. You inspire me, teach me, and encourage me to blossom in new ways!
Thank you for being YOU!
Wishing you all of the beautiful graces
of the season…
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
With a thankful heart,
P.S. What small joys fill your thankful heart?
Hope you will share… ♥