If gratitude is a habit, rather than a feeling, then it must be practiced!  A simple Pinterest search for “practicing gratitude” will give an overwhelming amount of results.  After reading several articles and studies, here are the three that stood out among the rest!

  1. Write in a daily gratitude journal.  Yes, this is usually the first thing that every, single, article lists, but it really does work!  You could put your own personal twist on this one by using blank tickets and a mason jar, writing a small note in your daily calendar (where you will see it every day), or even making your own video diary of thankfulness (kids will love this)!  You are only limited by your own creativity.  Remember to be specific, for example, instead of “I am thankful for my son,” perhaps, “I am thankful for my son’s ability to calm his upset brother,” is better.
  2. Write thank you notes.  Admittedly, I am terrible at this.  As a mom of many, most days I feel lucky that we are all alive with our limbs attached, but there is so much value in sending thank you’s.  Again, be creative!  While an actual hand-written and mailed card is a good choice, there is so much wonderful technology that can make this easier and more fun!  Send a video, scan and e-mail a piece of artwork from a child, or send a picture with a small note on the back!  The possibilities are endless!
  3. Practice gratitude in your thoughts.  Have you ever approached your sink and thought, “I hate doing dishes!”  Whether you realize it or not, these negative thoughts can have an impact on your whole dish-doing experience.  The next time you catch yourself thinking negatively about a chore, try turning it around into something positive, for example, “I am so fortunate to have these dishes to wash, because it means that our family has enough food to eat.”  While it may seem a bit corny, this type of thought training can really have an impact on your daily life!


I hope these ideas are a good starting point for you in this month of gratitude!  If YOU have other ideas, please share them in the comments, or on Facebook at the Magnificent Mommyhood page!


  • Larry Noble - I am glad that you’re writing again. Love dadReplyCancel

A while back, I read an article about the real “middle class.”  The article compared the American middle class with the middle class world wide.  I remember it describing a 500 square foot apartment that was kept incredibly clean, had running water, with a bathroom (which was shared with neighbors) nearby.  Talk about perspective!


It is so easy to take luxuries like running water and indoor plumbing for granted.  While I complain about the laundry pile each day, there is another stay-at-home mother across the world who counts herself lucky to have a washing machine!


I am coming to the realization that gratitude is not necessarily a feeling, but more of a habit.  As situations arise each day (both good and bad), we can train ourselves to wallow in sorrow, or we can look for the positive side.  For example, when my 6 year old shouts “Penis” at the top of his lungs while we are out in public, I should focus less on how embarrassed I am, and more on the fact that he is an intelligent and mischievous little guy.  (I highly recommend adding the phrase, “At least they are healthy enough to be naughty” to your daily positive parenting affirmations, I find it helpful).


For the next five days, join me for a gratitude challenge.  Each morning, take five minutes and think about one very specific thing you are grateful for!  Check out Magnificent Mommyhood on Facebook, and share your thoughts with me!







“Put the chicken down (uttered much like a police officer speaking to an armed criminal),” was the last sentence I spoke before all five kids and I collapsed into fits of laughter.


It was about 12:30pm, and I was desperately trying to get through our history cards before the children finished their lunches.  You see, today was our first day back after a long winter break, and truth-be-told, it was a bit rough.  The great thing about our schooling adventure is usually at just the right time, someone does something ridiculous or hilarious (more often than not, me).


I hope, in this new year, to really soak up these moments.  I honestly haven’t made many resolutions, but I do have some pretty exciting plans for 2017, and I would like to share them with you!


First, I am going to try my best to write daily!  I stopped writing regularly in 2015 because our life (especially The Man’s health issues) became so crazy, that I felt as if I just could not keep up with one more thing.  Well, I have decided that life may never slow down, or become less crazy, so I am just going to have to find my big girl panties and deal with it!


Second, I am going to work on a new habit (or one could call it a virtue) each month (both on my own, and with the kids).  I want to share our adventures and ideas with you, in the hopes that you can use them (or perhaps they will inspire new ideas that you can share with ME)!


Finally, in a world filled with negativity and hopelessness, I want to choose JOY.  I love making people laugh and smile (both on and offline).  Join me in my effort to spread love, light, and positivity.  Smile at a stranger, hug your kiddos (even when they are being naughty), and find your spouse and catch up on some married nookie (more on that later).


What are your hopes for 2017?  Have you already broken a resolution?  If so, why not start fresh tomorrow!  Each day is a new day!








Like many of the entrepreneurs who have been featured previously, Daniel Barker simply found a way to turn something he enjoys into a business.  Roughly ten years ago, Mr. Barker began writing short stories about a character created by his uncle.  Daniel enjoys writing about this particular character because of the character’s versatility; he can literally go anywhere.  While his first book – Sergeant Stone, NOPD – took the better part of ten years to write, the second book – Sergeant Stone, Sentinel of the Crescent City – took only twelve months.


Mr. Barker chose to self-publish both books, an increasingly popular option in recent years.  Using this method, authors can pick and choose from many of the standard services associated with traditional publishing.  According to Publisher’s Weekly, self-published authors now command “significant market share in all genres.”

Becoming a published author requires a tremendous amount of dedication.  Today’s entrepreneur identified his passion, evaluated his skills, and followed his dream.

To learn more about the Sergeant Stone books, please go to SergeantStoneNOPD.com.

Daniel Barker will also be at the Library in Crestview, Florida for a book signing on Saturday, May 30, 2015, from 10:00 until noon!



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