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Grace & Gratitude Near Granada

December 16, 2008

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Blue sparkling sea, rolling green hills dotted with sugar cube, white houses, snow capped mountains jutting high above and warm sunshine bathing our every move, how can one not feel blessed in this environment? As we put our Christmas tree up yesterday here in Andalusia, we thought about all that we have to be grateful for.

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Yes, in this economic climate that affects Spain as much as the U.S. , the U.K. or most any where on our planet today, one can easily be shaken with the contagious fear that is being passed around, but I keep doing my best to focus on what is right with this world. Here are a few things to try if you are feeling stressed. The exotic, authentic, modern yet ancient world here in southern Spain gives us plenty to be thankful for.

We are so thankful to our faithful readers too!  So many of you voted for us and supported us in the consumer awards at TravelRants for "Best Travel Blog" that we were deeply touched. It was a very tight horse race and much to our surprise, we spent most of the time in first place. Alas, we did end up coming in second, but I still think that is amazing sense we were the only single writer nominated. The only reason we did so great is because of our wonderful, loyal readers and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

We have been getting some fantastic press lately and eventually will make a press page this winter amongst other changes, but here are a few places that we have been showing up in cyberspace. We had a fantastic Halloween with gracious Wendy Perrin ( who is an icon in the travel industry) and her family when we were in NYC and she wrote about it on her Conde Nast Traveler blog. I will try to write more about that amazing experience later.

We are huge fans of National Geographic Traveler and their My Wonderful World so we felt honored that they wrote about us during Geography Awareness Week. We were also very happy to see a two part series about us on the popular Suite101 written by globe trotting writing mom, Kelby Carr that we also met on twitter.

We also ended up with another  two part series interview on TravelBlogs, along with being in a couple of other posts there about why family travel is enriching  and good possible gifts for travelers.

We were very happy to be listed as one of the top travel twitterers at Voyageek and and on Travolution! Not to mention one of the top family travel blogs here at blogs.com.   and also here at Travel Today!

We were happy to be included in Christine Gilberts post on traveling with kids  as well as this one asking "Where would you take your kids in Europe?"

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I hope there is some good reading for you in these and cool new sites to discover! Every night we read aloud together in bed, then talk about what we are grateful for before our nightly prayers. Often it is the simple things we think about and the love of family and friends shown in so many little ways (frequently with them just being themselves and unaware how their goodness shows through in everyday ways).

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As we put up our little living tree ( that is how it is done here, you buy them, then plant them and they cost about 6 bucks instead of 60) I realized how much pleasure we get out of simple things. I have boxes full of long collected ornaments in storage and once even put up 6 Christmas trees in our home. We love watching home movies of our last Christmas there and reopen each little sacred ornament with our 4 year old in the video. Because of our traveling life, we have the simplest of ornaments, some hand made, but we will always remember the pleasures of our simple Christmas times in Spain.

How do you take time out to focus on gratitude and the Grace in your lives? Does it give you strength?

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Darren Cronian

You deserve all of the recognition you received in 2008, and best wishes for 2009.

Karen

Congratulations on all the recognition! It was well-deserved. I appreciate you continuing to blog. I've been reading for quite a while and love traveling vicariously through your family.

My children are older and I am trying hard to cherish every moment that I have left with them. Today is an at home "snow day" and we are enjoying it tremendously.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for continued love and fun and success for 2009!

Soul Travelers3

Darren-Thanks so much, I appreciate that & happy holidays to you!

Karen-Thanks for your kind words! It is really nice to know that you enjoy our blog. Do cherish every moment with your kids..snow day sounds fun and brings back memories of my childhood!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Chance@roomfarm

Second in the contest perhaps, but first in our hearts....love your blog!

John at voyagers.typepad.com

Great post -- and great blog! I'm really enjoying reading back through your posts.

You know, one of the ways in which I show gratitude is to post pictures to my blog. I'm so grateful for the travel bug which my parents passed on to me when I was little, and I'm grateful that I have had opportunities to travel as much as I have been able to. Remembering about the time that I wandered around the Alhambra on a sunny February day, or the view from my apartment in Beijing, or standing on a hill above Murmansk -- it's awe-inspiringly wonderful.

--John at http://voyagers.typepad.com

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