Birthdays and Gratitude


Sunshine's birthday one week before mine
Sunshine’s birthday – one week before mine

Thank you for all of the wonderful comments on Monday’s post about turning fifty. I am clearly in good company with many of us parenting young children.

A couple of you mentioned simply being grateful for every year, and I agree. As my 50th birthday approached, I found myself thinking of friends who didn’t get to live for 50 years, and how thankful I should be. Ten years ago (almost exactly) I wept with gratitude over being in remission from a blood disorder that had gotten severe. Death had seemed a very real possibility, and when I was finally well, I determined never to forget how thankful I was to be alive.

I wanted to live life differently and not waste a moment; in many ways, that has happened. But how easily I forget to be thankful for every day! I lose sight of God’s goodness in my life and focus on the struggle.

There is so much more we could talk about, and I would love to hear more from you.

At the moment, I’m heading out to our apple tree where Sunshine is going to bury her fish, Indigo. We had a sad night when she realized he was gone. This morning she gently placed him in a small jewelry box and is ready to say goodbye.

The little boys are grabbing their coats. All for now.

[Remember to enter the drawing for a $100 gift card courtesy of Maxwell House!]

Have a great day, friends.



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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Fairy godmother
    February 13, 2014

    Oh, poor sunshine! (And Indigo!). Tell her I'm sorry :(. And that the pellets are on their way for her blanket :).

    Love love this picture!

    And your point about what a privilege it is to live to whatever age we are!

    Love you.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 13, 2014

      Thanks, friend. Sunshine is excited about her weighted blanket and wants her fairy godmother to deliver it in person.

  2. Elizabeth
    February 15, 2014

    Lovely photo! We only need our family (even though it is smaller) for a good party at our house as well. My mom is 57 and is parenting a very needy, high energy 10 year old as well as a 14 & 13 year old who are also from a "hard place." She's living life often close to the 'end of her rope.' (Which, as her highly attached daughter, is hard to watch) I am thankful that the end of our rope is not the end of Jesus'.


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