Simple Gifts. A Thank You.

I’m going to step slightly outside the Disney and theme park box for a moment on this day-before-Thanksgiving here in the United States. I have so much to be grateful for this year, I’d like to try and articulate some of it. It’s hard to believe the first Thanksgiving I was writing in this blog, our circumstances were quite different. My husband had just lost his job, and though I had recently received the news that I’d be joining the elite ranks of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel, it was a holiday full of uncertainty. We still made the most of it, for we had many blessings and still do. Back then my littlest guy had just turned one. Now he is three and a never-ending ball of energy, curiosity and amazement. My oldest two were just sailing through school in our old town back then, and now since moving to Celebration they are both flourishing in their own ways. My husband now has a wonderful job and we just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, at Walt Disney World, of course.

Noah Fine Art - Awaiting the Kiss
©Noah Fine Art

The past few months have taught me a lot about what’s truly important in life. Values are important. Character is important. Teaching my children those things is important. All the other stuff? Just fluff. Don’t get me wrong, fluff is great. I love fluff.  But without a strong core inside, everything will fall apart. I formed two very close friendships over the summer and these friends continue to inspire me to be a better person, each day. I am definitely a believer in everything happening for a reason and I am so very grateful for these people being sent into my life. I’m also thankful for getting closer to old friends and meeting new ones.  I will make it a priority to maintain these current and new connections.

Without gushing too much, I just wanted to take a moment and reflect on my blessings. I am so happy in our new home in Celebration, I think it was a wonderful decision to move back to the Orlando area and I’ve loved every aspect of living in this amazing community. I am grateful for my wonderful family, who continue to support me non-stop in my endeavors here on the blog and the events I attend as a result. I couldn’t ask for more a more understanding husband, 3 kids, and of course my mom as well. I’m thankful that I get to do what I love each day here on Zannaland; share my thoughts, stories, and news with all of my wonderful readers. I love connecting with people on twitter especially and reminiscing, being excited, and learning new things, together. I’m certainly not the best blog or blogger, but I deeply appreciate each and every reader and the support and encouragement I’ve received over the years. The thought that I’ve made even one person smile, or remember a happy memory, makes it all worthwhile. Who knows where the future will lead, but I am so appreciative of the “right now” and look at each morning as a chance to grow.

So thank you all for reading this, for being such a constant source of support and encouragent in everything I endeavor, and for just being you. Thank you to my wonderful friends and family, for the lessons I have learned and the chance to learn more each day. May your Thanksgiving (or Thursday, depending on your location!) bring you peace, blessings, and love that last throughout the coming year.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite little songs of thanks, a Shaker song written and composed in 1848 by Elder Joseph Brackett and one which I sang way back in the third grade when the world was full of possibility and hope. I like to think it still is. Take a moment to actually read the words, and reflect on how true they ring, even today.

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right

  • Beautiful. The picture of Snow & D really brings it all together. It’s a vision of humility that has always been special to me. I have a framed poster of it from when I was little. 🙂 As for A heart of gold you have. I hope you know that you inspire me to be a better person each day. Our friendship–the laughter, the venting, goal & idea sharing, pushing each other—*i just started crying so I better lighten it up**–swimming in the pool with Starbucks, cookie dough..this is what real friendship is. Thank you for showing me. <3 

    • Don’t forget baby hiiiippo. 😉 I could never put into words how grateful I am, this was the best I could muster. I’m glad we have each other. <3 Here's to many more memories and milestones together. 

  • Such a lovely post! Wishing you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. Hope to see you again soon. 🙂

    • Thank you Traci! I hope you had a great day and hope to see you soon too! <3

  • Scott Otis

    Z, thank you for such an amazing post. But thank you even more for your AMAZING friendship. I can’t tell you enough how awesome you are and how we can inspire each other to be the best people we can be. Also, thank you for having such a wonderful family. I absolutely love Jerry, Sophia, Christian and Widdle Baby Gio so much! And thank you or always being there for me.

    • Thank you Mr. Otis. We all love you too. I can’t wait to experience the memories we make in the coming year! 🙂 

  • Anonymous

    Beautifully written- which is why I always enjoy reading your blog! Our family is grateful to have met and spent time with yours and look forward to many more memories!