Grateful Grail

If this is your first time visiting this page, my intent is to maintain a grateful heart and to share that gratefulness with the world. It is the expression of a simple-hearted woman and mom, wanting to keep focused on what’s right in my world. It’s also been offline for a while but as a commitment to growth and gratefulness, I’m reactivating it. Please share your thoughts on gratefulness with me!
January 28, 2016
  • Friends who are also accountability and challenge partners!
  • Stability
  • Opportunities to grow and learn
  • The bunny that lives in my yard
  • 2 calls from the school with 2 good reports
May 13
  • My Mom – lots going on this week, grateful.
  • Groceries
  • Helping my kids give back where they can, so fun
  • Being home (instead of already out the door) in the mornings to send kids off for the day
  • Possibilities
May 11
  • Dreams
  • Friendship
  • Answers
  • Progress
  • A sunset that defies description
May 10
  • Mom
  • Jeep
  • Warmth
  • Gift of Ice Wine
  • Hollandaise sauce
May 7
  • So grateful for a teacher who told me how much my kids mean to her
  • Learning new life skills
  • The bunny living in my back yard!
  • Convo with my sister
  • Unconventional provision
January 7
  • Working with companies that make a difference
  • Jill Drader and Lana Wright
  • Minor surgery that I didn’t have to wait months for
  • The love of my children
  • Laughter
January 6
  • A warm home (-15C right now)
  • A beautifully peaceful Christmas
  • Friends who encourage me
  • Teachers who care for my kids
  • A new year to create new adventures and memories
November 11
  • Veterans, lost soldiers, currently serving
  • Freedom to be and believe how I choose
  • A son who is learning what it means to serve through sea cadets
  • Forever friends
  • Laughter
November 10
  • A garage for my car – with snow and frigid temps – YAY!
  • Low priced gas – happy budget!
  • Remembering our troops – so grateful
  • Kids playing in the snow – they’re not too old for fun
  • Stability
October 29
Well, well, well. Looks like it’s time to either get my Grateful Grail back on track or off the grid! I’ve kept my grateful attitude but just kind of forgot about this part of my blog. There’s nothing like reflecting on all the good in life.
  • Stability
  • New ventures
  • Funny kids
  • A month of birthday fun
  • Encouragement
February 12
  • Forgiveness
  • Teachers
  • Sunshine
  • Mother/daughter chats
  • Memories
February 11
  • People who ‘get’ me
  • Laughter
  • Coffee
  • Full fridge
  • So grateful for warmth in this frigid weather
February 10
  • A school environment for my kids that gives them opportunity to thrive
  • A man who is fun, even-keeled and who makes me laugh so hard my face hurts
  • Challenges that make me look at myself and how I behave/react
  • A cell phone that works
  • New glasses to look forward to – yay I get to see better!
February 5
  • The school my kids attend
  • Wise friend who talked me off the ledge today (no not that kind!)
  • Listening to my kids laugh
  • A car with a heater that works at -30C!
  • Pillows
February 2
  • New furniture
  • Good food
  • Laughter of my children – playing together!
  • Our street finally grated, car no longer bottoming out on snow and ice
  • Conversations

February 1

  • Alone time
  • My strength and forgiving nature
  • Being open to new ways of doing and being
  • Increased energy
  • New scents I love

January 30

  • Writing
  • Increased calm/peace
  • Warm coat
  • Reliable car

December 26

  • Gift of giving
  • Memories for/of my kids
  • Peace
  • Feast
  • Wisdom

December 23

  • A season that draws the focus to love
  • Technology
  • Warm boots
  • My best year in a long while
  • Hope
December 22
  • Electricity (my Eastern friends had a rough day)
  • My kids
  • Cuddles
  • Double Smoked Cheese
  • Fixed car!
December 21
  • My garage
  • Safety during crazy bad weather
  • Good coffee
  • Milestones
  • People who push me
December 15
  • For living in the moment
  • For opportunity
  • For moments that have made special memories
  • For answers
  • For lifelong friendships
March 16
  • School support beyond my expectations
  • Flexibility in my current role
  • Deep connection and conversation
  • Laughter
  • Opportunity
March 8
  • My John Maxwell Certification in Florida Feb 19-21 – Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker
  • Smooth travels
  • Lifelong learning 
  • Winning tickets from Brett Wilson (Dragon’s Den) to Maroon 5 concert last night
  • Grateful people who know they have it good and don’t take it for granted
February 4
Wow 13 days since my last grateful grail post? NOT acceptable!
  • Did something I’ve never done before
  • People who support and encourage my progress
  • Stunning stars in the night sky
  • 3 healthy children
  • Parents who taught me that kindness matters
January 22
  • 2 hour live call with John C. Maxwell – priceless
  • Banff – it never gets old
  • Plane ticket – proof I’m going somewhere!
  • Colleagues – team support
  • Hockey – yes I enjoy watching it
January 18
  • The boy who is 12
  • Laughter that makes my face hurt
  • I think starry nights are almost heaven, next to the northern lights!
  • A listening ear
  • Healthy kids
January 16
  • Old friends
  • Truth
  • Brave Girls Club – speaks to my heart
  • The smiles of my kids
  • Looking at baby pictures
January 8
  • Courage
  • My John Maxwell Teammates
  • Back to school routines
  • My coach
  • Coffee
January 6
  • The love of my children
  • Stellar customer service
  • Unexpected discounts
  • Starry morning walks
  • Conversations that make me think
January 1
  • A fresh book with 365 pages to write on it whatever I wish
  • Sharing New Year’s Eve with people from overseas I’ve never met before
  • Double smoked cheese
  • Text conversation that made me smile
  • Kids who didn’t freak out when I told them we’re getting serious about getting happy in our house!
December 25
  • The privilege of visiting with seniors, singing and reading
  • Hearing my kids say they want to go back to the seniors’ residence again
  • A Christmas conversation with my mom
  • Watching the sheer joy in my kids’ eyes as they unwrapped their gifts
  • Peace in my heart
December 23
  • Gifts under the tree – we are blessed
  • Shake my head crazy connections
  • Warmth in deep freeze weather
  • Listening to kids giggle together
  • Watching forgiveness in action
December 19
  • Laughter
  • Pain
  • Choices
  • Support
  • Friends who listen and speak the truth
December 18
  • Visit with someone I haven’t seen in months
  • Bernard Callebaut chocolate bar – habanero & sea salt – YUM
  • A cute boy who thinks I’m great
  • Hope
  • Inner peace
December 17
  • A nice long chat with my mom ❤
  • Snuggles with my daughter
  • Spontaneous visit with a friend
  • I don’t know if I want to be thankful for this, but another friend who can ‘read my mail’ like nobody’s business
  • When someone says, “You’ve been on my mind a lot.”
December 10
  • Today I am grateful for change
  • A coffee maker that works
  • Hope
  • Health
  • Soda (my dog)
December 8
  • Gingerbread men
  • Another bright starry night, even if it’s -18C
  • Great friends, yummy food, tons of laughter
  • New soft & cozy throw
  • Twinkling Christmas lights
December 2
  • Starry sky
  • Dog that loves me
  • Tickets to a hockey game
  • A daughter who surprised me
  • Dark chocolate
November 29
  • Womentum
  • Womentum
  • Womentum
  • Womentum
  • Womentum
November 28
  • Someone found a memorabilia gift of a lifetime for my son and gave me first dibs on buying it before trying to sell it publicly!
  • Very good news on the work front
  • Conversations with 2 mentor/coach influences, helping me stay focused on the good stuff
  • Passport photo in hand – one step closer
  • Watching a friend experience happiness and pure joy – so heartening
November 27
  • Got to see “A Christmas Carol” live – best ever!
  • Full moon and the big dipper in a clear sky
  • A surprise visit and basket of goodies
  • Having a garage to park my vehicle in
  • The lights on my Christmas tree
November 13
  • Laughter
  • My mom & dad
  • Dry roads
  • Scented candles
  • Stars – the ones in the sky!
November 6
  • My daughter saying I Love You
  • New boots
  • New hope
  • New friends
  • Old friends
October 21
  • New winter boots for my youngest with NO strings or velcro!
  • Opportunity to present an award at a Women of the Year Gala
  • A friend who listens when I ramble … and crash at her house
  • New business ideas that are coming to fruition
  • Feeling the love of those close to me
October 13
  • A new dog for my kids and I to love
  • Professionals who know their stuff
  • Listening to my children’s laughter
  • A visit with a friend I haven’t seen in 4 years
  • Food in the cupboard, a roof over our heads
September 23 (Yikes it’s been 4 months since I expressed gratefulness here??? NOT good!)
  • Camp Kindle ~ Kids Cancer Care
  • New friends ~ 3 in particular who have melted my heart
  • Stars to gaze at ~ my peace infuser
  • A school my children thrive in
  • Warm days, cool nights
May 25
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Stars to gaze at
  • Friends who challenge my thought processes
  • A month of peaceful living – long time coming!
  • May 2 – celebrated a year of change and not looking back
April 29 (slow month? nah, just slow me)
  • New job
  • Fixed car after 3 weeks without it
  • Absolutely fantastic people in my life
  • New coffee brand I love, half the price of the old 🙂
  • Watching my 14 year old turn into a beautiful & wise young lady
April 2
  • A surprise visit from my Mom – priceless!
  • Getting to see my sister and nephew as well – happy me.
  • Watching my daughter come alive with my family – good times.
  • Listening to birds chirping in my back yard.
  • Groceries in my pantry.
March 29
  • My mom just told me she loves me a whole bunch. Never gets old, never. ♥
  • Friends who speak the truth.
  • Still had coffee beans in the cupboard this morning!
  • HA – the sun is shining today.
  • Kids got ready for school this morning happy and without morning chaos.
March 19
  • Opportunities presented
  • An attitude upgrade
  • Healthy children – finally!
  • A friend who took my kids so I could actually have a night to myself
  • Finding out my kids attend a school that ranks in the top 20% in Alberta…grateful, so grateful (I need all the help I can get!!!)
February 26
  • The honesty of friends
  • Health restored to my kids
  • Added shelving in my pantry!
  • Leftovers
  • The laughter of my kids as they play together
February 25
  • Watching an exciting last game of the season for my son’s soccer team
  • Breakfast with friends
  • Cuddling on the couch with the kids to watch a movie
  • Resolving an issue within myself
  • Glad that my son wants to shower regularly 🙂
February 19
  • I will never stop being grateful for the amazing people who are part of my life, consistently encouraging me.
  • A computer that actually works.
  • Having fun playing air hockey with my teenage daughter and another mom and her daughter! (Moms lost)
  • No coincidence that someone overheard me talking about my ill daughter, only to advise me that her daughter had the same symptoms and to get her to the doctor right away because she likely had scarlet fever. She does. Grateful for people who care enough to not be silent.
  • Grateful my daughter will be okay.
January 29
  • Being able to drive
  • A warm bed to sleep in
  • Kids who express their love
  • Parents who care about my life, even at my age haha
  • The encouragement of people close to me, determined to see me succeed

January 26

  • Inspiration from those I respect
  • New adventures
  • Computers that work!
  • Seeing things in myself I didn’t know were there, room for growth
  • Hearing the excitement in my 60+ yr old friend’s voice, finding 9 new books to devour!

January 18

  • Celebrating my amazing son’s 11th birthday
  • Risk = Reward = Reality
  • A peaceful heart
  • Feeling loved
  • A warm home in -32C or -26F weather

January 11

  • Defining moments
  • Someone asked me what was on my agenda yesterday and I said I had to complete a writing project for a client = dream come true.
  • Lightheartedness
  • Opportunities on the horizon
  • A little girl who gives me unconditional love and affection

January 1, 2012

  • As I enter 2012 I am thankful that 2011 is over, the book is closed and  the pages in a new one are fresh, clean and ready to be written on.
  • Caring parents
  • Quiet moments
  • World Junior Hockey memories with my son
  • A note from my daughter that I will cherish for life

December 23

  • Watching my daughter perform in “Charlie Brown Christmas” at her school last night – SO proud!
  • Clear day, great flight sitting beside my dad in the cockpit
  • Mom made Swedish meatballs!
  • Got to see my sister, bro-in-law, niece & great-nephew
  • Seeing my son squeal with delight to be on the airplane

December 22

  • My kids are having an amazing Christmas season – way better than I could have ever anticipated this year!
  • My poor Cracked Berry has retired. Not sure if I’m grateful or experiencing separation anxiety.
  • New perfume. Amazing.
  • 1 more sleep before I see my parents
  • Dad is a pilot – kids get to ride – yay them! (I do too but I’m excited for them)

December 20

  • Grateful that 10 years later, my son is healthy and strong
  • Erin & Lana
  • Being able to give gifts this year
  • Egg nog lattes
  • Feeling like life is on track

December 11

  • Reconnecting with an old friend
  • Got to go to an NHL game with my beloved Oilers playing (they lost but it was still fun)
  • Christmas music
  • Hair dye
  • Nachos (sometimes it’s the simple things….)

December 7

  • Dr. Seuss – simple yet profound – “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”
  • New friends
  • The peace that comes from enjoying my Christmas tree & its lights
  • Creative ideas & connections
  • An amazing school & staff that I’m grateful for every day

November 28 (yikes, I need to get more consistent…and grateful apparently?!)

  • Finding out my daughter had an allergic reaction rather than a life threatening syndrome
  • Having a healthy household once more
  • Re-connecting with friends from the past
  • Having enough cheese left for my omelette this morning!
  • Being able to resolve technical difficulties on my own

November 12

  • Watching my son’s face when he plays soccer
  • Watching my daughter light up finding a desperately needed winter jacket that she actually likes
  • Free m.a.c. makeup!!
  • Gorgeous moon
  • Listening to my kids talk about how gorgeous the moon is!

November 8, 2011

  • Thankful for a good outcome to a difficult circumstance
  • Parents who never tire of being my parents!
  • School staff who never cease to amaze me
  • Watching friend check off an item on her bucket list
  • I got to live another day

October 23, 2011

  • Meeting all the phenomenal women at FIERCE Awards
  • Renewed connection with a business colleague I respect and admire
  • Kids who forgive me
  • Clarity
  • Finished project

October 14, 2011

  • Amazing friends
  • Spontaneity
  • Tickets gifted to me for the Russell Brand show tomorrow
  • A relaxing, happy day
  • Finding out my vehicle isn’t going to cost a fortune to fix

October 12, 2011

  • Seeing my youngest daughter happy and free at gymnastics
  • The amazing support system in place for my son
  • Watching my teenager actually smile 🙂
  • Good coffee
  • More good coffee

September 30 2011

I see I am seriously lagging in my commitment to my Grail! Sheesh.

  • Small mercies
  • My experience with the Alberta Health Care system has always been really good, and again this week I am reminded of the great Province I live in
  • A beautiful sunrise this morning as I sit in the coffee shop trying to work…distracted!
  • Being told I have ‘lovely children’
  • Coffee

September 11 2011

  • Courageous people who do outrageous things to make life better for others
  • A weekend to remember, fun times
  • School staff who continue to amaze me, SO grateful
  • My little girl’s soft, small hand intertwined with mine, enjoying a mommy/daughter moment
  • Star filled skies, several nights in a row

August 31 2011 (not doing too well at keeping up, am I?!)

  • School staff who care
  • Progress
  • My car
  • I survived the day!
  • Yummy fresh vegetables

August 20 2011

  • I’m grateful my parents instilled in me that each of us as human beings are equal
  • An incredibly hot, sunny day
  • Air conditioned vehicle (I know, oxymoron hey?)
  • The mountain scenery close by
  • My kids

August 19 2011 (oops – missed a few days!)

  • My friend Shelley, who helped me maintain sanity while school supply shopping
  • Well behaved children while buying school supplies
  • My friend Paul who successfully maneuvered surgery today
  • Kids jeans for $10 each
  • Iced Coffee

August 14 2011

  • My friend Steph, celebrating her birthday
  • A war-free zone where I live
  • My toothbrush
  • An incredibly beautiful day
  • New adventures

August 13 2011

  • Friends who are willing to sacrifice their time to make my life a little easier.
  • Quiet time on my deck. Alone.
  • Iced coffee
  • Wine
  • A beautiful sunshiny day

August 10 2011

  • Business connections
  • Food on the table
  • Long walk, thought provoking discussion with a friend
  • Clarity
  • Answers to tough questions

August 9 2011

  • I have the most amazing hair stylist – her giving nature is a true inspiration
  • Reconnecting with friends I haven’t talked to in a while
  • My ‘Poor Cracked Berry’
  • The Elevated HR Team – Michelle & Jillian – who are so supportive of me and committed to my success
  • My beautiful children are a gift to me

August 8 2011

  • My friend Evie, who celebrated a birthday today
  • My niece Melissa, who celebrated a birthday today
  • A very interesting meeting
  • Feeling extremely blessed with the people I have in my life
  • A beautiful sunset to enjoy while I was driving

August 7 2011

  • My new baby nephew who I fell in love with this weekend
  • A safe and fun reunion despite the weather
  • Catching up with cousins I haven’t seen in years
  • Listening to aunts and uncles recount funny stories from their childhood
  • The talent/singing/skits shared by young and old
  • Laughter

August 6 2011

  • An 84 year old uncle with more spunk than me
  • Many memorable moments this weekend
  • A reliable vehicle
  • Watching a friend make good life changes
  • The chile dark chocolate tucked away for the next craving

August 5 2011

  • Family reunion
  • My directional signs worked!
  • Hope
  • Sisters
  • Firepit conversation

August 4 2011

  • A beautiful, sunny day
  • New connections
  • Encouraging words
  • A little girl who knows just when Mommy needs a hug!
  • Socks to warm my cold toes

August 3 2011

  • I love that my kids get as excited as I did at their age, to see and try to count the ‘buffalo’ when we drive through Elk Island Park.
  • My Mom and I have an annual tradition that spans about 17 years, and Sunday was our 2011 installment. Love it!
  • Friends who put up with me.
  • Coffee.
  • Sitting outside sipping coffee on cool but sunny summer mornings.
  1. #1 by Schnookums on August 3, 2011 - 7:06 am

    coffee with you
    mac makeup brushes

    • #2 by shandracarlson on August 3, 2011 - 2:39 pm

      Ahhhh Kerri, why’d you have to move away? Maybe you guys should move to Canada and we could have coffee as often as we are able!

  2. #3 by NFord on August 3, 2011 - 11:23 pm

    Exercise induced endorphins
    The way my kids insist on “hugs and kisses, mommy! hugs and kisses!!!” when I’m leaving, even just to run out to the grocery store
    Friends who let me see me through their eyes when my own eyes have nothing good to say about me
    Getting the giggles

  3. #4 by NFord on August 3, 2011 - 11:32 pm

    Oh, and mojitos 😉

    • #5 by shandracarlson on August 11, 2011 - 10:33 pm

      I said 5. You seem to feel the need to one-up me on a regular basis, don’t you?! Got the giggles?

  4. #6 by Nicola Ford on March 17, 2012 - 6:47 pm

    Norwex cloths
    Other adults who have a good influence on my kids
    The ability to find recipes on the internet in a jiff!

  5. #7 by Nicola Ford on September 26, 2012 - 9:01 pm

    Okee dokee…
    The take your breath away beauty of autumn
    Flannel sheets on chilly nights
    Parents who have been unconditionally loving and supportive since day one
    The way when I finally get the nerve to admit to people that love me that I need help, they jump right to it
    iPhone calendars and reminders, without which I would only remember where to be and when about half the time

  6. #9 by oawritingspoemspaintings on October 25, 2012 - 1:05 am

    That a long list of gratefulness! A good reminder for all of us

    • #10 by shandracarlson on October 25, 2012 - 12:15 pm

      Thank you for taking time to read and comment! It’s too easy to get caught up in the goings on of every day life so I try to make myself remember the good on a regular basis. Enjoy your day!

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    "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Jack Kerouac
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