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:

  1. 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!

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