Friday, December 30, 2011


Rarely do I like pictures of myself, and I know I am not alone in that department. This photo, however, makes me smile! Not only am I standing next to my honey, but if you could have seen how many pictures I made my mom and sister take before this one...well, you would have thought we were shooting a picture for our Royal China Plate. (Hey, not a bad idea!) Smiling leads me to being grateful, and being grateful leads me to wanting to share the joy with others. Kind of like the book, If you Give a Moose a Muffin. Everything leads to something else and there is no guarantee they are related! Hence, why I am totally off subject right now! Simply stated...I am so incredibly grateful for my honey :) I could list all the reasons, but you would have a ten page blog, so if you are reading this honey, thanks for being you! I wish everybody the best in the new year to come, and I hope you can stop during the madness of life and see the little miracles. Some days it seems we have to look for the miracles with a magnifying glass, and other days, the miracles jump out at us in 3-D. May your 2012 be filled with days where the miracles are abundant!

Fuzzy Socks

I think I have totally lost it! Yes, that is a pair of socks at first glance, but oh, they are so much more. First of all, they are a necessity when you live in Montana, and the temperatures sometimes reach a balmy -20. Second, they keep my feet and calves warm all day. Third, they allow me to hold onto the 80's just a little longer, without actually having to wear leg warmers. It's true. I still secretly LOVE leg warmers, but don't have the guts to wear them, other than Halloween. Oh, okay, maybe when I am vacuuming the house and rocking out to my 80's music. Just kidding! My gratitude runneth over for the person who took my favorite short, fuzzy socks and made them into long, fuzzy socks. For these people have saved me from the 80's, and made me a very happy person! May your day be filled with the simple joy of finding a pair of fuzzy socks.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Fat Cat!

Have you ever felt like this? So incredibly stuffed, all you are able to do is plop down on the couch? Well, I truly know the feeling after the Christmas Eve Dinner my sister made this evening! Can I just say Gouda Cheese, potatoes, cream, and more cream? If I did work out, I would definitely sweat heavy whipping cream, but since I have not seen the gym in months, I am not too worried! As I reflect on the holidays, it's the little traditions I am most thankful for. Round one: Dinner with CeCe, Bob, and Shirley. Always a lovely feast of ham, potatoes, and fresh rolls. Round two: Christmas Eve at the Falkners which is filled with football games, snackies, and presents. Round three: Opening presents with the kids Christmas morning and eating Monkey Bread! Round four: We finish the day at Mom and Dad's house where we open more presents, watch more football, and eat another fabulous dinner. Have you noticed a common theme...FOOD! I hope your holidays are filled with as much love, joy, and happiness, as I experience every year! I love you all...Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


A Summer picture in December? Yes! You see, living in Montana, we have to focus on the positives during the winter months, so today, I found this picture of Augie! Our sweet neighbors, The Schotts, taught Augie how to wakeboard this past summer, and the little stinker started jumping the wake on his first time up! I love the fact children have no fear and just go for the gusto. Let's all live with the child in our hearts. Sure, we have grown a little older, okay, quite a bit older, but that's no excuse. Be grateful for this beautiful day and smile at a stranger, for they too probably have a little child in their heart who needs to be stirred!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Grandparents...Is there really anything better in your child's life than some time spent with grandparents? I think not! Today, I am incredibly grateful for my parents, and Todd's parents for the love and laughter they shower my children with. Of course, we cannot forget the Aunties either, but I don't have a sign made for that one yet! My children are incredibly blessed to have a place where Yoo-Hoos, donuts, and soda dominate the food pyramid, and where they can make memories to last them a lifetime. Have a wonderful day and be grateful for the little miracles unfolding all day, or for the BIG miracle...our parents!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Ride!

I cannot help but smile when I see this photo! Hattie and Poppy, hands in the air as the roller coaster began its descent down the tracks. Watching Hattie and Poppy experience pure joy together was something I will never forget, but I am sure glad I have this picture to take me back to that moment now and then. My wish is that you find a moment in your day where you are a part of, or witness pure joy! Look through some old photographs and ponder about those special memories. There is sure to be a smile waiting for you! Wishing you all a day filled with hope, peace in your hearts, and joy!

Friday, December 9, 2011


Like I said before...sometimes I will have profound things to be grateful for, and other times,! As I write this blog, it's 5:30 a.m., and I have already been up for an hour and walked the dogs! The walk was a little chilly at eleven degrees, but knowing I was coming home to my Starbucks - Mocha Via, was all I needed to propel my bundled up body. Oh, let's not forget the fact my mocha is adorned with a little, okay, a lot of heavy whipping cream! We can thank April and Michael for that little trick. Today is the day to be thankful for the smallest things in your life that bring you joy. Take inventory and see what pops up on your list. Who knows, it may be something as simple as java, or heated seats in your car! Hope you have a great day. Say I love you to those who need to hear it most...I love you all! This picture was taken in Virginia City, a Montana ghost town, and then edited a bit.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Today I am grateful for the simple beauty of dew on a leaf. Yes, that's it. A drop of water on a leaf. At first glance, a person might think just that thought...water on a leaf. Oh, but there is so much more to think about! Stop. Breathe. Ponder the miracles which had to happen for that little drop of water to end up there. Now you are catching on. Furthermore, think of the timing in which I was walking through Glacier National Park, at that exact moment, in order to capture this beautiful sight. The best part about this little miracle? I had to stop on the trail, look down, and be still in the moment. The other hikers walked passed me with their bear bells chiming, wondering what in the heck I was doing. My insides smiled, as I snapped away and saw the beauty, but I couldn't help but feel a little sad for those hikers who just passed right on by. They missed the miracle right below them, all to get to the end of the hike! Life is not about the end result, it's about stopping along the way and enjoying life's miracles. They are all around us...we just have to be still and look.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pure Joy!

PURE JOY! Today I challenge you to find the joy in something extremely ordinary! Sometimes we go through our daily errands without even noticing anything. Our eyes are open, but not really open. We go from point A to point B at a frantic pace, only to try not to be late for Point C! Well, today I challenge you to stop, just once during your errands. Stop and be still for a moment. Breathe and then be silly. Have fun! Don't worry about feeling foolish if you stop and try to walk on the curb, or ride the grocery cart to your car! Take a deep breath, play, and have fun! Watch a child...they seem to know how to do this very well, and then SMILE...all the way down to your liver. Feel the joy that is inside you, waiting to be released!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Ahh...Swamis. As I sit on the bench and look out at the sea, I am reminded to stop and be still. The stillness in my soul let's my mind escape to the motion in the waves. In and out. In and out. Slowly, I mimic my breathing to rhythm of the waves, and for a moment, I am one with nature. Not a care in the world, just for a moment, until some tourist comes walking by with a five-year-old kid who starts yelling and wakes me out of my stillness! Oh, but I was so grateful for the brief period of stillness...

VG Donuts

There are many things to be grateful for in life, but let's face it, sometimes you just have to be grateful for the simple things in life. You know, like your favorite donut from VG's. I mean really? Does life get much better than a VG donut? You were probably expecting something very profound from the Gratitude Queen, but if I have learned anything in my short forty years, it's the little things that be grateful when you bite into your next favorite food...I know I will be!

Our FIRST post!

Hello to all! This is the Gratitude Queen Blog, AKA Shelley & Hattie, and we are trying to figure this out. Thanks for being patient with us, and we are looking forward to posting some fun pictures and great Gratitude Stuff! Remember to be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios!