A Season to Give Thanks

As we approach the Thanksgiving holidays, I can’t help but take a moment to pause and reflect on the things in life that I’m most thankful for.

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Overlook at Dead Horse State Park in Utah – taken by Rodney Lange… Thanks!

First and foremost is Tom.  I know that I joke about him being my sherpa, but he’s a whole lot more.

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“Sherpa” Tom out to find some bears – Katmai NP & Preserve

Tom is my husband (6+ years now), my best friend, and my partner in travel and adventure.

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Taken by Kelli Williams somewhere in Utah …Thanks sunshine!

I know that it’s a bit cliche to say, but he “completes me” … more importantly, he gets me … and embraces it.

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Thanks for the shot Dave! (www.goseebears.com)

There isn’t a person in the world that I would rather share my life with.

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Selfie @ Dahmen Barn, Uniontown, WA

He shares my spirit of adventure and my love of nature.

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Glacial hiking at Valdez Glacier

Sherpa Tom

Sherpa Tom is also a fine photographer – Yellowstone NP

He encourages me to spread my wings, always encouraging me to follow my heart and my dreams.

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Snowy egrets – Orlando Wetlands

Debbie ready for action. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Thanks for the image Dan Cox of Natural Exposures!

Always willing to try or go somewhere new, life never gets boring.  🙂

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Tom looks out at the Dead Horse SP landscape

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Powder Mountain chairlift selfie in Utah

Then there’s my family… starting first with my daughter, Kelli.  I don’t think that it’s possible to be more proud of her than I.

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~~~ Kelli, my “sunshine” & apparently my “unicorn” as well~~~ 🙂

She really follows her dreams and stays true to herself.  Currently 1/2 way through her first year of PA school, she continues to amaze me with her dedication and drive to excel.

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NSU Jax Physician Assistant Class of 2016 Inauguration

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Kelli & her husband Mitchell … both amazing!

With all of the studying that she endures, she still finds the time to have fun with her husband, Mitchell, and their dogs … or should I say “poodles”.

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Snowbunnies – Utah

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Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico

I’m grateful also to my mom and her husband, who live nearby and always a part of my week.  Growing up my mom always set a great example of integrity for me, combined with a love for life.  Though they think that Tom & I have a severe case of “wanderlust”, truth be told, so do they, only their travel is usually on the seas.

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My wonderful mom

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My mom & her husband in Jackson Hole, WY

Family reunion

Family trip to Yellowstone NP

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Holiday celebration with the family, Florida

I’m grateful that Tom & I have always had good and rewarding careers, which have allowed us the resources to do some of the things that we love.

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Landing @ Katmai NP & Preserve

Out on the Russian River

Taken on the Russian River by Todd Stein … Thanks!

Of course, it goes without saying that our close friends and neighbors are also something that we’re grateful for as well.  Whether it be for a social gathering over dinner and drinks or lending an ear to help each other through this journey of life, it’s always a needed ingredient to a happy life.

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Denali NP snowstorm in August. Taken by Tom; edited by Rebecca Tifft.

Last, but not least, I’m thankful for the opportunities that have presented me, whether it be travel, wildlife encounters, photographic adventures, or just the ability to clear my mind in the great outdoors.

Not a cloud in the sky - viewpoint of Mt. McKinley (aka Denali) from Stony Hill Overlook

Not a cloud in the sky – viewpoint of Mt. McKinley (aka Denali) from Stony Hill Overlook

Yes, life is good, and my thirst for travel and experiences that I have yet to have will surely continue … those who know me, know that it doesn’t take a lot to make me happy … just give me a few bears, owls, (and other wildlife is welcome as well) and a great view!  Remember … “life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away”.  That’s my motto … and I’m sticking with it … THANKFULLY!

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Coastal brown bear @ Katmai NP & Preserve

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Great gray owl looking down at us in Ottawa.

Two Jack Lake, Banff NP, Alberta, Canada

Two Jack Lake, Banff NP, Alberta, Canada

Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!  May you spend time surrounded by those whom are important to you and get the chance to reflect upon what you’re thankful for and celebrate life.

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Upstate NY winery … Cheers to all 🙂

Next up:  Kayaking the Valdez Glacier ice caves!

© 2014  TNWA Photography

 

 

 

 

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