A Thankful Heart

Hi Friends! 

A special welcome to everyone joining us for the Papertrey Ink November Blog Hop Challenge! Hop over to Nichole’s blog if you would like to join in the fun!

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 together 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. One day a roadrunner joined us in my mom’s garden. Autumn in the desert has been extra special this year for so many reasons!

Together we drove through the nearby Tonto National Forest, past breathtaking mountains, to visit lovely Saguaro Lake. My family has so many wonderful memories of hiking along the lake together over the past two decades. Seeing mighty Saguaros growing along the sparkling 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 and snowflakes fell upon my garden while we were away. So, I happily spent a few quiet moments in the garden gathering dried flowers and seed heads to fill an antique wooden box on our front porch. These garden gatherings are sweet reminders of those glorious Summer days spent in my perennial and herb gardens. 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 exciting, new supplies that arrived in my mailbox this week! 🙂 ) The talented Design Team at Papertrey Ink constantly inspires me. 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 and for being here!

Wishing you all of the beautiful graces

of the season…

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


With a thankful heart,

♡ Dawn

P.S.  What small joys fill your thankful heart?

Hope you will share… 







67 thoughts on “A Thankful Heart

  1. Many thanks, Greta! Now that the weather has turned cold and my garden is sleeping there is more time to make cards.😊 I just love mailing them off to family and friends.

    It has been such fun to hop around to see everyone’s amazing cards! I am a huge fan of Papertrey Ink. Thanks so much for hopping by today, Greta! 💗

  2. Love how reading your post felt like a visit with a friend, it’s very inviting and comforting. Your cards and tag are gorgeous as well. I’m in Illinois as well, but much further south, we spent the weekend days in shorts and flip flops – no snow flurries here!

  3. Such a sweet thing to say, Teddra! Heartfelt thanks! It has been such fun to hop from blog to blog for wonderful inspiration. Celebrating Papertrey Ink… and so many beautiful ways to share handmade kindness!

    Our Thanksgiving weekend weather has been so lovely this year! Yesterday I had fun decorating our front porch without a jacket or gloves. 😊 Hope the warm sunshine continues a bit longer! Have a nice, creative week, Teddra! 💗

  4. Happy Thanksgiving, Dawn! I love your paper creations; they really get across the spirit and warmth of Thanksgiving. And as we move into the Christmas season, I can’t wait to see what projects you’ll share with us. ❤ Hope all is well with you!

  5. Heartfelt thanks, Chris! It makes me so happy to share handmade kindness with my family and friends. I just love sendin off Happy Mail and imagining the smiles that it brings! I’m looking forward to this holiday season and all of my favorite holiday traditions. I’m sure that you will be busy making holiday magic for your family, too! I’m so happy that you stopped to visit today, Chris! Sending Paper Hugs… from our home to yours!

  6. what a lovely post, Dawn. I’m trying to make sure to savor each and every day of this season. It’s my favorite and it always seem s to fly by. I am thankful for family, good health and good friends.

  7. This is so very lovely in so many ways, Dawn. Your kindness and loving spirit shine through the photos, words, and your amazing artwork. Thank you for sharing your time away (Saguaro Lake looks amazing) and your time in your paper garden. My apologies for taking so long to come to this post.

  8. Kindred spirits, Karen! I feel the very same way. I’m trying extra hard to be mindful of what’s most important this year. The days and weeks do fly by too quickly. I will borrow your word ‘savor’… as I enjoy a nice, old-fashioned holiday season! Thanks for being here, Karen! Sending warm hugs!💗

  9. Such a kind thing to say, Penny! Thank you! Each visit is so precious and it makes me so happy to be able to help my parents. So glad that you had a nice Thanksgiving with Kezzie and Ezra. I know they love to come over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s house! What a treat to have such nice weather in late November. Enjoy the day! 💗

  10. Hopping on over to your blog to see what you’ve been up to and wow! I’m blown away by these gorgeous cards that you’ve so lovingly designed and made. Loved reading about your visit to your parents in Arizona too – I’m sure the landscape there is pretty different compared to the mid west?

  11. I so know what you mean about the gardens of the Arizona deserts. Lived in Arizona for so many years, most of which were spent in the high desert mountains. There is splendor in all locations if you observe it. It’s nice that you had the opportunity to spend time gardening with your mother and have a roadrunner visit. That was my son’s nickname as a small boy. Honoring and being grateful for our service men and women is a good thing any time of the year. Your handmade cards are truly beautiful. What a treasure they will be to those that receive them. Hoping your Thanksgiving was everything memories were filled with joy. Thanks for sharing your visit with us.

  12. Many thanks, Loretta! Although I miss spending time in my perennial and herb gardens, I’m so thankful to have more time to create in my little Paper Garden studio downstairs. I just love sharing handmade kindness with my cards. I work very slowly, so each card is truly a little ‘work of heart.’ It’s such fun to send off Happy Mail to family and friends!

    Over the years, I have really enjoyed learning about the plants in the desert from my mom. Most importantly, I learned which prickly ones to avoid! It’s always fun to see the cacti in bloom and to help my mom in her desert garden. Since it’s very flat here in the Midwest, I just love seeing the mountains in Arizona, too! Thanks so much for hopping over to visit and stopping to chat, Loretta! Sending sunny hugs across the miles! ♡

  13. What a great nickname, Marlene! I’ve spent a lot of time visiting Arizona since my parents retired there, but I have only seen three roadrunners. It was a real treat to have one come to visit us in the garden! Each time I see a desert wildflower in bloom, it reminds me of courage through adversity. Those plants survive in the dry, desert heat and the rock hard soil and still thrive. We can take great strength from them whenever we are faced with adversity in our lives!

    You are so right about honoring our servicemen and women. In fact, I began card making a few years ago because I wanted to send cards to our deployed military through Operation Write Home. These brave men and women used our cards (blank inside) to write home to their families. 🙂 Now it’s fun to send my handmade cards to family and friends. It just makes my heart happy! 🙂 I’m sure that you are very busy being creative during this holiday season, Marlene! Sending bright sunshine your way! ♡

  14. Hello Dawn! Your kind heart pours out from every word and gesture. I love that you’re making these cards for family and friends, and how sweet that you hand-deliver so many of them. I like the idea of making blank cards for service people to send home. What a great idea. You’re always an inspiration! xo

  15. Sending warmest hugs, dear Alys! I know you can understand the joy of making special cards for loved ones. They are little gifts from the heart that send a little more love into the the universe! I just spent a happy weekend writing our Christmas cards and letters. Although not handmade (just too many!), we are sending lovely cards that benefit UNICEF, so they also put a little more love into the world, as well. 🙂 Hope your holidays are wrapped in love, Alys! ♡

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