Thanksgiving Week is such a special week and one of my favorite times of the year. It’s a time when we are off from work for a day (some of us for two days, hooray!) and we gather with family and friends and enjoy some great times, traditional Thanksgiving Day food, parades and football games and we eat lots and lots of deserts until we throw up. It is a perfect day and it is also considered by some to be the start of the Christmas season.
I have been so blessed in my life and the blessings are so many they would be impossible to list all on one blog entry. I’ve been focusing so much on things I am thankful for this year and thought what would be a better time to share this list than on Thanksgiving Day! I am definitely a person who believes that counting your blessings is not only important for happiness and health, but it is also one of the best things we can do as human beings. While it is not limited to just 200 items, this is a start and it definitely makes me feel blessed to reflect on it.
So, in no particular order, here are 200 things I am grateful for:
- My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and all He has done for me and continues to do for me.
2. That I get to enjoy life with Tracy, who is not only the girl of my dreams but she is also someone who is kindhearted, selfless and just fun to be around. Tracy has been extra terrific this year, even when I didn’t deserve it, and I am super grateful she loves me.
3. For family, my daughther, Katy, my son, Ben, my mom and dad and both of my sisters, Kim and Tricia
4. My church family at Redeemer
5. My loyal customers to my photography business and all the people who have purchased my wall art for their homes and offices.
6. For Dawn, Ed, Amanda, Gary and Aria. My next door neighbors and absolutely terrific friends.
7. For the shipmates who served alongside me on the USS Leahy, and all the memories we made, places we visited and things we learned. We were all so young and spent so much of our lives together. (Well, Skip and Pops weren’t that young). But they are the best group of men I have ever known and it was an honor to serve with them.
8. For my wood burning fireplace
9. For Special K cereal with the little red raspberries in it
10. For my North Face coat, keeping me warm every winter
11. For my Canon mirrorless R5. Best camera I have ever owned!
12. For the KelbyOne Community and KelbyOne trainers.
13. For my Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu Plus subscriptions
14. For my Regal pass which allows Tracy and I to go to any movie we want, any number of times we want.
15. For all of the National Park rangers across the US. Terrific people and some of the most hardest working people I have ever known.
16. For tuna fish sandwiches with hot chicken noodle soup
17. My Keurig coffee maker
18. For the little button on YouTube ads that says, “Skip Ad”.
19. That I learned how to be proficient in Photoshop and Lightroom
20. For the very first sip of coffee in the morning.
21. The folks over at my printing lab, Bay Photo, who do such an amazing job creating prints of my work
22. For the folks at LensProToGo
23. For my B&H credit card
24. For my Adorama credit card
25. For how happy Tracy gets when she hides little stuffed bears around my house and laughs when I cannot find them
26. For the people who actually read my blogs
27. For the team who works the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts in Mount Airy, MD. It doesn’t matter how long that line gets, they get everyone through quickly and efficiently
28. Having a job that gives me the ability to travel to beautiful places and photograph them.
29. For pizza and for the people who deliver the pizzas
30. For my very comfy bed and very comfy pillow
31. For Tracy’s smile
32. For the Google news feed on my phone
33. For all the delicious lattes that come out at Starbucks every holiday season
34. That the Pittsburgh Penguins are not as good as they usually are
35. For beautiful sunrises and sunsets
36. That I get to shoot with some of the best Canon gear
37. That I have an indoor studio
38. For Don Becker’s photography workshops
39. For all the kind text messages, phone calls and for the beautiful fruit basket that my wonderful neighbors brought over when I had my knee surgery
40. For weekends
41. For the smell of coffee brewing
42. For anytime I get to visit New York City, which will be in just a few weeks again
43. For the music of Genesis and for their reunion tour this year
44. For the music of the Moody Blues
45. For Cinnamon raisin bagels with too much cream cheese
46. For our police, fire fighters and first responders
47. For the staff at Urgent Care who send me cards all year
48. For amazing and beautiful clouds when shooting a landscape image
49. For pancake breakfasts after a sunrise shoot
50. For the little sound my phone makes reminding me that Tracy is home
51. For grace and forgiveness
52. For my daily devotion and Bible reading each morning
53. For listening to good music by candlelight when it is raining outside
54. For long Amtrak train rides through the mountains of Colorado
55. For both of my Platypods
56. For Kelly, who loves to pose for my portraits
57. For Olive Garden breadsticks (with the dipping sauce)
58. For my uncle Frankie. Gone, but never forgotten
59. That I live in a place which allows me to enjoy all four seasons
60. That I was born in the United States of America
61. For people who actually laugh at my silly jokes
62. For romantic comedy movies
63. For Alexander Ovechkin being on the Washington Capitals
64. For the soft pretzel vendors on the streets of New York City
65. For Christmas trees and Christmas music
66. That I have other options of Christmas music to change the channel to when Mariah Carey starts singing, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” for the 2,172nd time of the day
67. For having Sirius XM in the car and in my home
68. That people coming to ask for photo sessions are celebrating something special and are allowing me to celebrate with them
69. For the new masking options in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw
70. For driving on country roads past fields with horses
71. For Tracy’s creativity and quick thinking.
72. For the photographers who share their work on 500px
73. For people who let me steal their french fries
74. That you are up to #74 and are still reading this
75. For the little pretzel treats at the Mount Airy Inn
76. For pens with a little rubber stylus on the end
77. For my Really Right Stuff tripod
78. For the first snowfall of the season
79. For my North Face hiking shoes and for the shoelaces that Tracy put on them that never untie
80. For my pet cockatiel, Helen. Even though she teases me all the time.
81. For freedoms we enjoy for living in the United States
82. For good health. Even if it’s not great, I still have many working parts to be grateful for.
83. For learning from mistakes
84. For many opportunities to learn more and improve my career and my business
85. For having a home of my own to live in
86. For laughter. For the world would be a very sad place without laughter
87. For access to clean water. Because I know that there are people who lack this in the world
88. For campfires on cool Autumn nights
89. For thunderstorms on summer days
90. For art. The world would be drastically different if art didn’t exist
91. For my Spotify subscription. I never thought I would see the day I can fit my entire music collection in my back pocket and take it with me everywhere I go
92. For rainbows, and the ability to photograph them
93. For tears. When there are no words to say, tears express how I often feel
94. For the convenience of indoor plumbing, which not only provides convenience but protects me from disease
95. For beautiful mountains. Especially the Rocky mountains
96. For eyesight (and for my glasses). For without this, being able to see the world’s beauty and to photograph it would be impossible.
97. For people who nicely tell me that I have a typo on one of my websites
98. For grocery stores and the convenience of being able to get food to eat.
99. For diversity. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same
100. For electricity, which I often take for granted and makes just about everything I do possible
101. For the moon and the stars. They are not only fun to photograph, but they encourage me to dream
102. For air conditioning. Staying cool on hot summer days used to be something people just dreamed about
103. For heat in the winter.
104. For people who are willing to teach. Some of my favorite teachers are Rick Sammon, Moose Peterson, Karen Hutton, Scott Kelby, Jefferson Graham, Serge Ramelli
105. For modern medicine
106. For healthcare
107. For music. Especially christian music, classic rock and music that triggers my emotions
108. For warm clothing
109. For having an internet connection, for which doing business would be near impossible without it.
110. For beautiful hiking trails
111. For vaccines, keeping us safe from viruses and disease
112. For our armed forces, who are truly the very best of America
113. For my long career at Verizon, and the friends I have made and the things I have learned
114. For living in Mount Airy, MD. I love the town and the people who live here.
115. For books and being able to read them on my tablet
116. For hot showers and how good it feels after taking one
117. For the ability to work from home in sweats and pajamas
118. For the smell of apple pie baking in the oven
119. For warm cups of hot cocoa with whipped cream
120. For emails I can answer with just a single sentence
121. For the people at Adobe, who are always making photo editing tools better and better
122. For whoever invented a Charleston Chew
123. For my Google calendar, for I would be so disorganized without it
124. For random acts of kindness and generosity
125. For popcorn at the movie theater
126. For the sense of accomplishment I feel after a difficult task
127. For the ability and resources to complete a bucket list. (I just got an idea! Maybe my bucket list will be on a future blog)
128. For the ability to come up with new ideas. Just like I did in item #127
129. For people who push me to think outside the box
130. For bald eagles. These are truly amazing birds and watching them soar over beautiful places like Jenny Lake at the Grand Teton Mountains, the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon is simply breathtaking
131. For not falling into a snake pit when I hike to locations I am unfamiliar with in the dark to get to a sunrise photography spot.
132. For warm, comfortable socks
133. For the times Tracy and I are watching our favorite TV shows together
134. For the show, “This is Us”. I want to be Jack when I grow up
135. For big, giant hugs from people I love
136. For strangers who open doors when my hands are full
137. For going to bed with fresh, clean sheets
138. For dinners at Carrabas restaurant. My favorite!
139. For the honesty of children
140. Looking at a child’s face when they get a present
141. For spellchecker in Microsoft Word and on email applications
142. For being in love
143. For romantic dates
144. For having a wild imagination (which often solicits crazy laughter from people)
145. For clean, organized homes
146. For safe landings after a long, difficult plane ride.
147. For visiting new places, especially those that I have only dreamed of visiting before
148. For the first flower and the first robin I see at springtime
149. For the smell of freshly mowed grass
150. For baseball games, and the aroma of beer and hotdogs when I enter the ballbark
151. For NHL hockey games, especially playoff games
152. For Goat, who is at every single Washington Capitals games and always makes the games fun.
153. For the horn guy at the Capital One Arena who blows the horn during hockey games
154. For having other things to be grateful for that have absolutely nothing to do with hockey
155. For encouragement. Encouraging other people and being encouraged.
156. For home cooked meals. Although I also love greasy hamburger joints and hole in the wall restaurants, too
157. For all the memories and friends I made living the first half of my life in in New York. Especially Duke and Rolando.
158. For Dunkin Donuts coffee
159. For Starbucks lattes
160. For the smell and look of my car after it has been cleaned and detailed
161. For seat warmers in my car on cold winter nights
162. For being forgiven for mistakes I’ve made. And bad mistakes. I’ve made a few. I’ve had my share of sand kicked in my face. But I’ve come through. (And I need to go on and on and on and on).
….OK, now that I got that out of my system. Moving along.
163. For dollar bills I find in the washing machine, even though I cannot seem to find out where that missing sock disappeared to
164. For Autumn foliage and the beauty of fall
165. For hot apple cider and cinnamon sticks
166. For the feel of soft kittens
167. For dogs and how much love and affection they give
168. For people who are unselfish, kind, and go out of their way to make other’s happy
169. For dreaming, and never, ever giving up
170. For making smoothies in a blender
171. For baking cookies and getting flour all over myself and the kitchen
172. For those hotels that are hard to figure out how to turn the water on, because that usually means I am in a good hotel
173. For the songwriting of Justin Hayward
174. For James Taylor’s music
175. For the Eagles. And for the day I will take Tracy to Winslow, Arizona so we can stand on the corner and take pictures
176. For watching the joy and happiness of newly married couples, and being able to photograph it.
177. For funny YouTube videos
178. For the convenience of Amazon shopping
179. For making the perfect playlists for long car rides
180. For the cherry blossoms at Washington DC every spring
181. For deep conversations
182. For sincere apologies from someone who has hurt me
183. For aquariums and zoos
184. For beautiful waterfalls, especially at Yosemite National Park
185. For Jimmie Cone ice cream cones
186. For dolphins
187. For the experience of driving up Pacific Coast Highway in California in a Mustang convertible
188. For the guy who rescued me when I fell down ice skating in Georgetown
189. For horse drawn carriage rides
190. For the feeling of accomplishment and happiness I get when I print one of my photos and see what it looks like hanging on a wall
191. For C-Fast memory cards
192. For restaurants that give discounts to military veterans
193. For the times when my daughter and I go out to dinner together
194. For little individual coffee creamers
195. For the memory of Katy as a little girl, coming down the stairs on Christmas morning and running right to the rocking horse I stayed up all night building for her, and jumping on it with a big smile on her face
196. that Tracy said “yes!”
197. For my collection of Starbucks ceramic coffee mugs, each showing a place I have traveled to
198. For Tracy’s Dad, and that he also loves photography, too
199. For everyone who follows both of my Instagram accounts, and always makes nice comments when I post pictures
200. For God, and the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, and for all the blessings He has given to me. Yes, I know I included this in my #1 mention but I love Him and this list begins and ends with Him, because every single thing I am grateful for in life, begins and ends with Him.
Thank you for reading my list! I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving celebration and I hope that your food is delicious, the memories you make are wonderful, that you enjoy the parade, and that your favorite team wins!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!