Following Jen’s Lead: 60 Things I’m Grateful For in 2014– Join the Fun!

Share the Gratitude!

Share the Gratitude!

I headed over to a favorite blog today, Jenny’s Lark, and found that Jen had started a list, as part of the Daily Prompt, and suggested others do the same. Ironically, I had been wanting to do this Daily Post challenge, for three days, but the time got away from me. Jen’s post gave me just the nudge I needed!  I stopped reading right after her introduction and decided to write my own, as I didn’t want to be influenced by her list. I took a few minutes to think it through, and the list came together pretty quickly! Gratitude is a nice thing to focus on.

The challenge called for 10 minutes of writing– I  spent 12 minutes, because I wasn’t finished with the last two that were in my head, when the timer went off. I also spent some extra time formatting and adding links and photos. Like Jen, I found myself going over the 50 goal. Things just kept popping into my head, and it made me so happy to acknowledge the many things I have to be thankful for. It’s truly been a remarkable year!

I challenge you to write your own list... Jen had a great idea, let’s keep it going! (see note at the bottom to join in!)

The 60 things That I’m Especially Grateful for in 2014… In No Particular Order

1. The wonderful Christmas tree that my son and Germany put up for me, while I was in the hospital, last December. It was a very special surprise. I kept it up until January 7th.

So wonderful, and a complete surprise from my boys!


2. The tiny Christmas tree that Scout brought for me in the hospital, I kept that up until the end of January, to remind me of the people who love me. So many of them brought food, flowers, and smiles, while I was recuperating.

3. Having “Germany” with us for all of the 2013-2014 school year. He brought enormous joy to our home! I miss him terribly.

4. My work at Hospice. It’s a highlight of every week.

5. Trip to Belize with my husband, son, our exchange student, Germany, and dear friends. We spent one week on a sailboat, and it was amazing!

6. Swimming with sea turtles in Belize.

7. Swimming with stingrays in Belize.

8. The most amazing nighttime snorkel, in Belize. It was unbelievable!

9. Seeing my eldest son, Middle Man graduate from Claremont McKenna College. It was a very proud day! He and his friends are electric!

10. Seeing my youngest son, Little Man, graduate from high school. I was so proud of him!

11. Having our family all together for Little Man’s graduation party, extended family, immediate family and a couple of friends–  Getting to share that celebration with Mike, David and Aaron. Three of my favorite Little Men, was icing on the cake!

12. Becky and Alison’s wedding, in the mountains of North Carolina, and seeing dear friends there.

13. Spending time with my cousins in NC. Ross, Damia, Isabelle and Max made me feel like a million dollars! What a great time!

14. Fireflies and lightening,  in NC.

15. Finally getting to meet Jennie Saia, in NC.

16. An amazing 3-week trip to Scandinavia with my youngest son. It was just spectacular!

17. Horseback riding in Iceland: across the fields and to the most incredible waterfalls.

18. Climbing a glacier with my son, in Iceland.

19. Drinking fresh water straight from a glacier. Best water ever!

20. The Icelandic language. It is as unbelievable as the place.

21. The magical landscape of Iceland.

22. The iceberg pond, in Iceland. Gorgeous!!

23. Listening to Bon Iver, for hours, while I traveled.

24. Visiting my Danish daughter, “Denmark”… in Denmark. It was so good to see her again! And getting to finally spend more time with Denmark’s family– who will always be family to us, now.

25. Visiting my good friend Pia, her husband Claus, and my Danish sons and grandbabies, during our trip to Denmark.

26. Tivoli Gardens.

27. Train ride from Stockholm to Gamla Uppsala.

28. Lots of Viking ruins, and getting to see my son’s face when he saw them.

29. The Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Incredible!

30. Visiting the Hans Christian Andersen Museum– a fairy tale come true!

31. Watching the World Cup final game, in the old city of Stockholm.

32. The clock tower at Tivoli, by moonlight.

33. After leaving Iceland: Sunset! Blessed darkness.

34. Every single sunset from our deck.



35. Having my daughter home for the summer.

36. Having my oldest son home for the summer.

37. Spending time as a family, over this past summer.

38. Emails from Australia from my son. They always make me smile!

39. Getting to know Emmy better, through emails. They always make me smile, too!

40. Going to BlogHer and getting to finally meet Emily and Amy, as well as so many other remarkable women! (Chloe, Kylie, Tonya and Julie, in particular)

41. Seeing my girl finally get her wish and become an Israeli citizen. Wish we could have been there, but it’s enough to know she’s happy.

42. Visiting Sea glass beach with my nephew, Little Man, Smart Guy and my aunt and uncle, this past September. It will always be my happy place.


43. Having my nephew live with us for two months in the fall– what a joy!

44. Truly great friends, who are so supportive, and wonderful!

45. A girl’s trip to LA with 3 women I adore, and visiting Sur Restaurant.

46. Meeting Mohamud.

47. Fiji with Smart Guy. It was a dream come true, in every way!

48. The people of Fiji– several of whom write to me regularly. What truly special people.

49. The beach from Blue Lagoon, on Turtle Island… alone with my husband for the day.



50. Matangi Private Island Resort and Horseshoe Bay on Matangi. One of the most incredible places ever!

51. Being Freshly Pressed.

52. Being published by Huffington Post, here (with nearly 3,500 FB Likes!), and here, and here! What an ending to this year!

53. Great books to read, movies to see, and music! This includes some awesome concerts this year! (Arcade Fire at the Gorge, was THE best!)

54. Gracie and Luke… every morning, every day; it never gets old!

IMG_7172          IMG_3922

55. Annual holiday shopping trip with MB.

56. Getting a personal email from Arianna Huffington. I still grin like a fool each time I read it.

57. A practically perfect Christmas tree this year. A tiny bit shorter than I’d like, but beautiful in every other way.

58. Knowing that my kids are happy.

59. Plans to visit NYC right after Christmas– there’s nothing quite like the holiday windows in that city!

60. So many supportive readers. This year has been the best yet for my writing, and I truly owe so much to the many readers who support my writing, cheer me on, and make me smile… daily. Thank you!

Share the gratitude: Write your own list of 50 things that made you happy in 2014, or that you’re grateful for. Add a link to my post, and Jennifer’s post, and then add your link to my comments and I’ll add it to my post! Spread the joy this holiday season.

Other Grateful Writers:

Jennifer at Jenny’s Lark: 50 (ish) Happy Things From 2014

Joyce at Musing off the Matt: Happy Things From 2014

Susan from Life is a Journey, Not a Guided Tour: Hopping on the Bandwagon, 10 Things I’m Grateful for in 2014

Jen at Jen Groeber: Mama Art: Ten Minutes of Thankful (and Then Some)

*     *     *


HELP ME REACH MY 2014 GOAL:  I’d love to see the Tales From the Motherland Facebook page reach 500 likes in 2014. Have you stopped by to spread some fairy dust? Follow me on Twitter, it’s where I’mforced to be brief.  Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. I love to hear what readers think. Honest, positive or constructive feedback is always welcome. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email, with no spam.  If you see ads on this page, please let me know. They shouldn’t be there.  ©2014  Please note, that all content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, please give proper credit. Plagiarism sucks.


About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Beautiful places, Belize, Blogging, Daily Observations, Fiji, Freshly Pressed, Friendship, getting published, Gratitude, Honest observations on many things, Iceland, Life, Musings, Natural beauty, Relationships, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Following Jen’s Lead: 60 Things I’m Grateful For in 2014– Join the Fun!

  1. Carrie Rubin says:

    Wonderful things to be grateful for. Wow, you’ve traveled to some incredible place. Iceland looks breathtaking. Quite the year you’ve had!


  2. Cathy Ulrich says:

    What a fabulous year, Dawn! Lists of gratitude raise your vibration and make you receptive to even more wondrous and wonderful things. A great practice to do during the holiday season! Thanks for sharing them here with us!


  3. Mike Lince says:

    It says a lot about you that the first 2/3 of your list is mostly about other people. The irony of your list is…didn’t I read a rant you recently wrote about lists? Ha ha – I’m just teasing you. You are an amazing woman and you deserve your incredible, exciting, stimulating life. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! – Mike


  4. jgroeber says:

    Yay! What a wonderful list for a wonderful year from a wonderful woman. So great to see a year that began with illness ended with such strength. You go, grrl! Cheers to another one!!


    • It’s funny Jen: as I was writing this list, it would pop into my head: oh, that’s when my lung collapsed and I was in the hospital… uh, that’s when I broke 4 ribs… wait! that’s when I had a pot of soup spilled on me and had 2-3 degree burns all over my chest! Um… there was definitely a long few months, at the start of the year when I was SURE there was a very dark cloud following me. However, WeBulls Wobble, but we don’t fall down! Thanks for all the support and encouragement, Jen!


  5. Dawn, Great list and a wonderful year for you and yours. May you have many more. May you have a lovely Christmas and New Years. — Suzanne


  6. etomczyk says:

    Like every life there were ups and downs with yours, Dawn, but the gratitude list is awesome and really does push the sad and hurting times to the background. I think I’ll have each of my family members do one and share them at Christmas dinner this year. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What’ a great and loving list. You’re blessed for certain, Dawn.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your list Dawn! Gratitude is something I would like to spend more time focused on…


  9. mariaholm says:

    It’s inspiring to list up the things you are grateful of. I have done it in a Christmas letter to friends and family. Needs a bit more editing though. I am also thankful for the many new people writing from their hearts here on the blogs


  10. Reblogged this on TALES FROM THE MOTHERLAND and commented:

    Am I reblogging a post from two days ago? Yes! I am. After this one went out it occurred to me that it would be fun to make this an “event.” I’ve added an explanation at the end, but simply: write your own gratitude post, link to my post and Jennifer’s post (included in mine) and I’ll add yours to the list on the bottom of this post. Add Joy to this season and share some Gratitude! Come on; it feels GOOD!


  11. hbksloss says:

    What a lot of wonderful places you have been, things you have done, people you have met! Nice to read your list.


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  13. I love feeling the joy and contentment in your gratitude. What a wonder-filled and wonderful year you’ve had. Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: Hopping on the Bandwagon: 10 Things I’m Grateful For in 2014 | Life Is A Journey… Not A Guided Tour

  15. My goodness, so much wonderful travel for you in one year! And a great family. Simply lovely.


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