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Sunday, April 22, 2012

My attitude of gratitude

Gratitude. What is it? It is an attitude that I try to live my life with. Today, after spending the most amazing weekend in California at the "Launch Your Creativity" event put on by my dear friend Sharon Hughes from Pansy Cottage and Garden, I would like to share some of the things that I am truly grateful for.

When Sharon first asked me to speak at LYC, I immediately said yes. Afterwards I asked myself “Why did I do that??” Public speaking is something I haven’t done since 10th grade. (I don’t really count my panel discussion at TCC since I was on stage with several other speakers and really didn’t say all that much.)  I was really stepping outside my comfort zone on this, but a voice inside me told me I should do it.  I’m so glad I did!  If you can imagine a room full of beautiful (yes, we are ALL beautiful )and talented (yes, we are ALL talented) women all getting together to offer support and encouragement to each other, sharing stories of success, and offering ideas on how we can all achieve it... THAT is what LYC was like. It was a reminder that we can all do anything we set our hearts and minds too. I am not only grateful for the other fabulous speakers who shared their knowledge and taught us all some very valuable information, I am also grateful to all the women who attended the event. Many of you gave me a very valuable gift. Your own words of encouragement, affirmation and gratitude, and I am forever grateful to you for that.

So, let me  talk a little about my gratitude for my friends. It knows no bounds. For many years before joining the blogging community, my friends were very few few and far between. In High School,  most of friends were boys and even as an adult, it was difficult for me to make lasting friendships with most of the women that I knew. (Don’t ask me why, I have no idea) Then I started my blog and found a whole world full of women who I could relate too. Building on-line relationships became important to me, and when some of those on-line friendships turned into real honest to goodness, “call me if you ever need anything, I’m here for you, you matter to me” friendships... well, let’s just say I was a very happy girl. (You know who you are girls, both here at home and across state lines  and I give thanks for you every single day.) Well this weekend I added one of the most generous, warm and nurturing women I have ever known to my list of true friends. I don’t know if you have ever experienced an instant connection with someone where you immediately felt like you had known them your whole life, but that is how I felt when I met Sharon. From the first time we spoke on the phone, it felt comfortable, easy. Hanging out with her, was like hanging out with the sister I never had.  I know we are are going to continue to become great friends and am so grateful that she is now a part of my life.

And speaking of friends... I am grateful to all of you...those of you who comment and leave words of encouragement that make me smile, and those of you who silently visit,  leaving your mark because I know you are here hanging out and enjoying what I have to share with you.  I give thanks for all of you everyday, because if it weren't for you , the labor of love that is “My Desert Cottage” would not be nearly as much fun.

Now that brings me to another thing that I am sooo very grateful for...When thinking about what I wanted to say in my speech for this weekend, I was reminded at how very blessed I am to have a career that I love. I remember 2 years ago when I lost my job and felt so lost. You were all there to pick me up and tell me it was going to be okay. And you right. It was okay. Because of all you wonderful gals, I was able to start my dream business and make a success of it. To all of you who have hired me to help decorate your blogs so they are a true reflection of you, I cannot thank you enough. I am so grateful that you believed in me and allowed me to follow my dream. And to all the gals out there who may become Valentine Design clients in the future... I am REALLY grateful to you too, because you are helping me stay in business!! LOL!!

I am grateful for my wonderful, kind, supportive husband who believes I can do anything. (even when I may not)

I am grateful for my sweet, talented, adventurous son who is now back in Arizona after a year in Colorado.

I am grateful for my 2 beautiful fur-babies who give me unconditional love and make me laugh every single day.

I am grateful for a wonderful home and a beautiful garden despite living in the desert. :)

I am grateful for my health and health of my family.

I am grateful that I live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. (Even if it does have it’s faults, there is no where else on earth I would rather live.)

And I am grateful to everyone who stuck around, letting me share my rant of what an amazing, crazy, busy, happy, exciting, warm, comforting, peaceful, joyful life I have now. It's just not worth it to worry about the little things that really don't matter much in the grand scheme of things.

Thank you God, for blessing my life with all that I have. My cup  truly runneth over. :)


EllenaElizabeth said...

What a lovely post. True friends are like diamonds. Thankyou for sharing from the USA to Australia.

Pansy Cottage Girl said...

I dont even know where to start...yes Im bawling! You are an amazing woman! Fearless, capable, talented, strong, gracious and I could go on and on and on! Anybody that can live with me and my family (including the dogs for 3 days) and still thinks the world of me is over the top! We shared so many stories in these few days and it was so wonderful to be with someone that is so easy and non-judgmental. You were the perfect house guest even if you may have hidden the meat under the table so you could have pudding(you know what Im talking about)Thank you for telling me that no one understood that! I feel smarter. I love you a ton!!Cant wait for June!

Sandra Kaye said...

Hey Sweets! I am so glad you had a wonderful time at LYC. I told you...you would be fabulous :):) I am truly GRATEFUL that you answered my email. I am GRATEFUL we are friends even after you saw the REAL me. I love ya sweets!! Many hugs

Lily's Lace said...

Hey girl it looks like everything went great! I'm so glad you had a good time and met some amazing women! How did you r speech go, what all did you do??

Well, I am grateful that you got me started in blogland and designed my blog, and redesigned, and added, AND keep me on your sidebar! I too am grateful that you are healthy and have enough business to keep you happy! I'm glad your son is home, I hope he is doing well too! Hugs to the boys and the fuzzy faces, xoxoxo-cin

Karin said...

Karen....It was so great to meet you yesterday! I loved your talk and all the words of encouragement to those of us who are looking to fullfill our creative dreams. Talk to you soon! Karin

Cyn said...

Wonderful Karen! Just love your post! You my blogging friend, are an inspiration to me. TO know you can have a passion about something inside you..and know one day it will blossom.

sweet violets said...

What a beautiful post, very uplifting to read....hugs...cleo

FrenchGardenHouse said...

What a sweet post. I can see why you are grateful for Sharon, she is a treasure. But then so are you. Thank you for stepping out of the box and speaking to all of us. And thanks mostly for sharing a little bit of yourself. xoxo Lidy

Riki Schumacher said...

Oh Karen, what a sweet and open post, love it. You are such a ray of sunshine in my life. You light up a room with your amazing warmth, and I would think anyone would love to hear what you have to say. Good for you breaking outside your comfort zone, such a healthy thing for all of us to do. Congrats! And thank you for the amazing talent you have shared with me. Xoxo. Riki

Angela Richardson said...

Hi Karen,
What a wonderful message you are sending us today.
You are the woman who inspired me to start blogging and indeed I was one of your first customers when you designrd my blogs. I too now have so many friends around the world and am so grateful to them. I have been helped through some rough times through my blogging so, Karen, I am truly grateful to you.
Hugs and smiles. Angela.x

suziqu's thread works said...

I loved reading what Gratitude means to you. If only everyone could see life like you through grateful eyes!
What a wonderfully uplifting gathering to "Launch Your Creativity" - I think we all could have benefited from attending Karen!
Have a wonderful week!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

Karen, I'm glad you had a fabulous time and connected the way you did with Sharon. I too have enjoyed the friendships I've made through blogging as I've never had a BFF. It surprises me as I talk to women that there are many like us that have social friends but not a close group of friends - thought I was the only one. :-)
I'm happy for your success with your blog design business and never hesitate to recommend you to another blogger that comments on the design of LC.
Sometimes it takes a person awhile to find their true calling and then all kinds of doors open.
Thank you, for the inspiration you give your blogging friends.

Pam said...

Karen, I can so relate to this post it is as if you were writing about my life and not yours. I am now even in a job that is all men and just started my blog to hopefully meet some of the wonderful women who inspire me to push the envelope and do things I never believe I could do. You do that, INSPIRE, and you deserve all the wonderful things that come your way.

Sandy said...

Beautiful heartfelt post Karen! I am grateful for you, sweet friend, who has helped me to build a beautiful and personal blog with all your mad design skills. Thank you for the beauty you share and the way you uplift.

Beth said...

Beautiful post, Karen. You will make people pause a moment and think that they, too, have much to be grateful for.
Hugs and blessings, Beth

Kay Ellen said...

It was such a pleasure to meet you this past weekend Karen:))

I really enjoyed what you shared. I love blogging too:))
I am excited to see what Sharon hears in the next couple weeks about our special day!

What a pleasure to encourage women in their hopes and dreams!
Let's keep in touch:))

Kay Ellen

Kim @ French Country Antiques said...

What great sentiments, Karen. Thanks for helping me launch my blog. I'm grateful for you.

Unknown said...

I am so happy for you. I believe this is just the beginning for you. You're so sweet, in many ways. Thank you for sharing your heart. You are so talented and have always shared your talent and ideas. Much continued success, I'm sure I will seeing and hearing a lot of you in blog land and events.
Love, Jan

Yvonne said...

I'm grateful for all the little things we all take for granted at times. I keep a daily gratitude journal and sometimes it's hard just to put down one things I'm grateful for that day. But, there is always something, it may be a small thing, but each and every day there is something to be grateful for, no matter what is going on in my life.

Unknown said...

What a sweet message... it made me geniuenly smile. :) I think its great that you did this! Such a new and thrilling experience! :D


Unknown said...

What a beautiful post Karen! I'm so pleased you had a good time, made more new friends and touched so many with you sweet personality and talent. I'm so glad I found you and feel like I can chat with you anytime. You are a feel good kind of person that makes life and blog friendships worthwhile. Thank you for having me on your blog roll and sharing your life with me. You are a true blessing and you could be my daughter:) In my heart you are! I thank you for thinking I'm not "too old" to create and enjoy this journey allowing me to be still "young at heart". You make blogging "fun" Hugs and you are loved, I'm grateful I have you and all the other wonderful gals I have met along the way! Marilou xoxo

Monica said...

I am truly grateful for you and this post of yours, Karen. It brought tears to my eyes. And yes, you must be grateful because you live in the land of the free and home of the brave. This is something many of us long for... but it's not always possible, for several and desparate reasons. I feel so very blessed in my heart, for (thanks to my blog) America really gave me what I was terribly and painfully missing... and I am now allowed to have at least my work there. Which is like having a part of me and my heart on that land. For that I am grateful.
Big hugs.

Lady Pamela said...

Beautiful words. I am so grateful for having you take the time to help me with my blog and anything else I needed along the way. It gave me more confidence. You are a blessing.

Teresa said...

Yes! and your cup will keep running over with posts like this one. I believe that the attitude of gratitude gets you further than you realize. It is awesome to look back at all of the blessings one receives and know they are from God.

Thank you for such a wonderful post today, Karen!

Teresa said...

I am in love with your post today! The attitude of gratitude gets a person further than they realize when looking back on all of God's blessings.

So happy for you that you are able to do something you love and make money doing it. Some people search for this their whole lives. This in itself is a major blessing!


Essential Luxuries said...

I'm so glad you spoke at the LYC event. It was great to meet you and hear your story. You spoke honestly and I know everyone was encouraged to try entering "blogland"...if not already there...thanks for saying "yes" to Sharon!!!

Ginger said...

Well Karen, I finally got around to reading your blog and I must add that I am gratefull for you. I love the beautiful blog you set up for me. You assured me right from the start I could do this. Maybe now you look back and say ..maybe not! I would never have been able to do this without your long distance phone calls and correcting my mistakes and above all going over it step by step until you felt that I understood. Thank you, Thank you. I'm sure I will still be calling on you but I am very grateful for the new door you have opened in my life.
Now I can share my crafting with others in a way I never dreamed possible. Thank you for your knowledge, thoughtful nature and most of all your patience. Your heartfelt gratefull post is beautiful! Ginger

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