The Best Part- Giving Thanks

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My family and I are just returning home from an amazing hike. The leaves are slowly changing and the weather here in Virginia has been wonderful. It was our first time hiking with our 6-month-old, Atlas, and he was a natural. I think he will be an outdoorsman like his daddy! All the fresh autumn air lulled him to sleep about halfway up the mountain. My two older boys ran about searching for animals, scouting for hiking sticks, and climbing trees. They were running about as little boys should and exploring the wilderness. My husband and I have always been avid hikers, mountaineers, and campers. We backpacked parts of the Appalachian Trail for our honeymoon, for goodness sake (although I am not sure I would recommend that if you’re looking for a relaxing time!). Now we are sharing all the forest has to offer with our children.

boys hiking

The past few months have not been easy for my family. My mother has been very ill, and I have been traveling back and forth to New York to be by her side. Our family has spent more time apart than together, but it was necessary. My husband has been playing Mr. Mom, balancing life, work and kids. I’m a very lucky lady to have such a supportive and loving partner. I also have some amazing friends and neighbors who will do anything to help when life gets hard. So many people have stepped up to comfort me and my family during this very difficult time.

Three weeks ago my mother passed away. Nothing is the same without her, but hiking today brought me peace, something I have not felt in months.

My husband and I have always said that we do our best thinking when we’re hiking, and he couldn’t have been more right today. Today was a gift. Moments like this remind me to be thankful for the simple things in life. Being together with my family and enjoying nature seemed magical. I have come to realize that even on your worst day, there is always something to be thankful for. The day my mom passed, I was surrounded by loving friends and family, for which I am forever grateful.

My children and I are working on finding ways to give thanks each and every day. I have created a bulletin board where my family and I can post notes, pictures, toys, memories, and phrases to share with one another. It has been an uplifting tool in my home. Our boys love posting notes–especially silly ones. We embrace anything they are thankful for, because it is infectious. Being thankful creates joy and sharing why you’re thankful spreads it. On the days I cannot find thanks, I simply read the board and that lifts my heart and my heavy mind.  Even our neighborhood friends are joining in the fun- everyone wants to write a note and hang it on the board. Reading our Thankful Board has become the best part of my day!

burlap and chalk painted Thankful Board

There is always a reason to be thankful framed poem

Thanks to DaNita at Delightful Order for the free printable.  You can download it {here}.

Thankful bulleting board with messages and burlap banner   FeedAd_Logo2_TM The Best Part is an online community that’s dedicated to brightening your day—every day. How? By spreading optimism, one share at a time. The Best Part posts inspirational stories, encouraging quotes, good news and other upbeat items on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—and encourages fans and followers to share that optimism with their friends. Because when optimism is shared, it grows, making an even more positive impact on our world. Check out what others are sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by~

terry name graphic




  1. Dear Terry, I’m so sorry to hear about your mother, from the way you write I can tell you loved her very much. Losing your mom is a hard thing, and you have my deepest sympathy.

  2. Terry, I too have lost my mother two weeks ago and every single day has been hard for me. She was very ill as well and doctors all say that it was a miracle that she lasted as long as she did. I am thankful every day that she gave us and to our family. I would definitely think about making this type of bulletin board for my family. We definitely have a lot to be thankful for. Stay strong Terry and my condolences to you and your family.

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