Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 22

Holy smokes! I’m guessing this could possibly be the longest 22 day challenge in history. I started this gratitude adventure on September 25, but because of some “I miss my momma” grief sprinkled in, it seems to have stretched it out a bunch.

Gratitude:

  • Lake Wappapello
  • beach time with my son, in Missouri (which isn’t near any oceans)
  • reflections on the water
  • a beautiful afternoon in nature on some random Wednesday

My son has a club on Wednesday afternoons for a couple of hours. Instead of just going home afterwards, we went out for lunch, then drove north to an area lake.

It was the perfect day to go. It was sunny, warm, and not very busy. We did a 1.5 mile hike on the hiking/bike trail near the marina and beach. It runs right next to the water and is absolutely beautiful! .

There was only one other person on the trail and she was very nice. She said that she walks 6 miles on the trail most days and sometimes she does it twice a day. I can see why! If I lived near that lake, I’d probably want to see those views every day, too.

Miracle photos:

part of the hike/bike trail at Lake Wappapello in Missouri
the section of the trail we were on has a walk out in
front of the marina
beach number one of the day
toes on the beach at Lake Wappapello in November

We went to two other areas around the lake after our hike. This one was completely new to us and it was down a lake road we haven’t been on before.

a new to us area on Lake Wappapello called Lost Creek
reflections at Lost Creek, Lake Wappapello in Missouri

From there we ventured to beach number two. We’ve been there many times. In fact, I’ve done other posts about this beach before.

This time, my son and walked the beach at sunset, drew in the sand as a tribute to his grandma/my momma, and tried to skip rocks. We are always on the lookout for heart shaped rocks, too.

beach number two, a heart for my momma
Tribute to Gram (grandma)
trees above the beach

We had a really wonderful afternoon. Saturday we are going to a new hiking area about an hour north of our home. It’s near a lake as well.

For some reason, my love for hiking has kicked back in. Luckily, it’s a wonderful time of the year! Less crowds, less bugs, plus beautiful fall colors.

Thanks so much for being here!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me All rights reserved

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 21

Gratitude:

  • Alley Spring
  • hiking
  • this lovely area where we live

On Halloween, after we went to Rocky Falls, we drove north and west about 20 miles to Alley Spring. My boy and I have a history there. Many times we have gone in autumn, when the leaves have fallen. We always make leaf piles and lay on them while watching the sky.

We arrived just about sunset and there were only a few other people there. There are two hiking trails. One is a mile and a half and the other is a third of a mile. Since it was close to evening, we chose the shorter one.

We’ve hiked it several times and I’ll tell you what, the views definitely change with the amount of sunlight. With or without much sunlight, the place is just amazing.

All the people left, so we had the place to ourselves! We made the leaf pile, stared at the sky, and walked back up to the mill near nightfall. The thought occurred to me, that now that almost all of the humans are gone, maybe nature could take a breath and rest for the night.

It puts on such a glorious show.

Thank you for reading. Hope you’re still seeing miracles and gratefuls.

Jessica

Miracle photos:

sign to the mill near Eminence, Missouri
Alley Spring Mill near Eminence, Missouri
Alley Spring Mill about sunset
look how much water flows through here a day
the spring at Alley Spring Mill
view of the mill from the hiking trail
I love this photo- the red, the water, and
sunset on the trees
the mill dressed up for fall

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me 2022 All Rights Reserved

Miracles and Gratitude Challenge Day 20

Gratitude:

  • Rocky Falls
  • my boy
  • Halloween fun

When my boy was little, we used to do all the Halloween fuss- trick or treating, costumes, stopping by friends houses, trunk or treats, etc. I loved every single second of it, too.

This year it seems we have outgrown all the costumes and stuff. What’s a mom to do? I wanted a memory making day for him, so we started our own new tradition:

Halloween hiking

Miracle photos:

Rocky Falls, near Winona, Missouri

Rocky Falls near Winona MO
waterfalls we went to on Halloween 2022
that sky!
at the bottom of the rocks at Rocky Falls
near Winona, MO

It’s a gorgeous place to visit. It had been quite some time since we’d been there, I’m so happy we went back. From there we went to Alley Springs. I’ll show you those pictures tomorrow.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

©️ All photographs taken by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day Whatever it is

My 22 day Miracles and Gratitude Challenge stalled around Day 19. It’s not that I haven’t seen any miracles or that I gave up being grateful. It just became more of an inner noticing.

Grief rears up sometimes when we’re trying our hardest to close the door and push it away. Bingo. My logic in doing this challenge?

Count miracles + be grateful =

Well, I don’t know what it equals. I just know I didn’t make it 22 days in a row of posting. Sometimes it seems like our best intentions don’t always add up or go as planned. So, I’m starting on whatever day it is. This day.

Gratitude:

  • pumpkin patch
  • my son
  • sunflowers

Miracle photos:

We just left the pumpkin patch. We had a great time playing games, miniature golfing, seeing animals, hayride, slides, basketball hoops, and getting pumpkins. I even got to go into a sea of sunflowers. Love flowers so much!

pumpkin patch in Arkansas
sunflower field at pumpkin patch
bee time
opening up
sunflowers in Arkansas

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it.

Jessica

©️ COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photographs by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 17

Saturdays are family day for me, my husband, and our son. Yesterday we went to a fall festival, picked up lunch, had a picnic at a lake, and bowled.

The cool thing?

All of those things were at the same town where we bowl on Tuesdays, 55 miles from home.

Gratitude:

  • getting to see our friends clog
  • riding The Scrambler
  • seeing new friends from bowling and homeschool clubs at the festival
  • picnic at the beach
  • bowling SEVEN games- I’ve never bowled that many at once
  • spending the day with 2 of my besties- my son and husband

Miracle Photos:

Being barefoot on a beach in the middle of Missouri in the middle of October! Humongous miracle!

where we had our picnic lunch
view from the picnic table
love that they have life jackets kids can borrow
there were deer tracks everywhere down by the water, here’s my foot with some

I miss my momma sooooooooooooo much. Especially when we’re around water. She loved water. I wrote Mom in the sand.

I miss my momma
‘Angel wings’ I found on the
beach next to the water
that sky!!! Clearwater Lake in Missouri

5 days of miracles left in this 22 day challenge. Thank you for being here and for reading.

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

**** all writing and photography was done by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 16

You guys!!!

I got to meet a blogger in real life!

On Thursday, October 13, 2022, my son and I got to meet Betty who has, https://chambersontheroad.com, and her husband Dan.

How cool is that?

We met at a cute cafe not far from their campsite, an hour north of our house. When we walked into the restaurant, it was like coming home.

We were met with smiles and gifts. They bought our lunch. We ate, laughed, told stories, and laughed some more.

Afterwards, we met at their campsite. I thought we’d maybe stay an hour. We stayed four! We played games, went for walks, took nature photos, and told more stories.

It was a really great day!

Gratitude:

  • that I found Betty’s blog months ago on a search for camping/ hiking blogs
  • that through writing/reading each other’s posts, it made the awkwardness of meeting someone new not as awkward
  • for the sunny, but windy, afternoon
  • for Dan’s help playing Yahtzee
  • for learning to play Rummikub- it’s really fun
  • for walking around the campsite and seeing Halloween decorations other campers had out
  • for their hospitality
  • for hearing about driving adventures, the Million Mile Van, movie stars, and the 300 game
  • Betty’s yellow shirt
  • that our jackets almost matched
  • for hugs and pictures at the end

Miracle photos:

some brilliant orange stuff growing
on a tree that we saw on a walk
trees reflecting on a bridge history sign
we saw on our walk

If Dan and Betty happen to read this, thank you for a wonderful day! We really enjoyed it!

If you like reading about camping, Pickleball, cast iron fried donuts, recipes, and other adventures, maybe have a look at Betty’s blog, it’s really great!

Thank you for reading! Hope you have a sunny Saturday!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photography were done by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 15

Gratitude:

  • my aunt Esther who is 103
  • that my son and I got to visit her in August (she lives 11 hours away)
  • that she sent us a Halloween card 2 days ago
  • for Etsy!!!!! Etsy allows me to choose sweet gifts from some cool shops that I can send to Esther, just because- the last gift was soap in the shape of a bird
  • the tiny bit of rain we got that turned the leaves orange and red
  • getting to see our friends do their clogging dance at a festival tomorrow- they are SO good, it’s kind of like tap dancing but louder
  • hearing my husband’s fishing tales- he just got home from a trip to Florida
  • that even though my bowling scores were lower this week, I’m a little more comfortable bowling in front of teams now and I had fun
  • my dad is letting me use my momma’s bowling ball- last week when I used it, I cried, this week I didn’t cry!

Miracle photos:

My great aunt Esther and her daughter Patty lived together from 1979 to 2021 in a small lake town in Iowa, near Minnesota. They did lots of crafts and ceramics. Every holiday, they decorated their house with the things they made and bought.

Patty unexpectedly passed away on March 26, 2021. In May 2021, my son and I went up to see Esther for her birthday.

I hadn’t been to her house in many years. When I asked if she had an attic, she let me go up and look.

Up in the attic were all these boxes. Esther told me that if I wanted any, to take them because they were going to goodwill.

Goodwill?

That made me wonder what was in them, so I started opening the lids! Holiday decorations! Some bought, some handmade.

We had our bikes in the back of my truck, so I jammed as many boxes as I could into the back seat. Always wishing I could’ve gotten more… but, we barely had room for our suitcases, ha ha.

Because winters are very harsh up there (like 20 degrees below zero), they gave away the rest of the stuff, Esther sold her house, and moved into a cozy assisted living home.

Now, when I open up those boxes to decorate for each holiday, I can smell her storybook house, sold over a year ago.

If we hadn’t been there for her 102nd birthday, we wouldn’t have any of her things.

Miracles.

Esther’s decorations
a squirrel in Esther’s decorations

Thank you for reading. I hope you are seeing miracles wherever you are. I’d love to hear about them if you are! Feel free to comment, if you’d like.

Hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photos are by me

Miracles and Gratitude Day 14

When I was at my dad’s recently, I saw some Mindful cards my momma had bought one of us for Christmas. As I went through the cards, one in particular caught my eye.

It said:

“Put your hand on your heart and feel your own heartbeat.”

Say what?

That would mean slowing down enough to actually notice this amazing thing we have in our chests.

I tried it.

It instantly shifted my perspective on what a miracle a heart is and because of its work, what a miracle I am. We are.

My grateful list today is to offer somewhat of a ‘standing ovation’ to some parts of this body that keep me going, but tend to get taken for granted a bit. A ‘thank you’ so to speak.

Gratitude:

  • a heart that beats
  • eyes that see
  • ears that hear
  • liver that does many jobs
  • kidneys that flush
  • adrenals that handle hormones
  • brain that gives movements, memories, thoughts, and functioning
  • taste buds
  • nose that smells
  • skin that glows
  • hair that grows
  • lungs that breathe

Miracle photos:

My kitties

my kitty Coco, she’s a one year old
Coco’s foot
my kitty, Squealer
Squealer

Hope you have a great day!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photographs are mine

Miracles and Gratitude Days 12 and 13

Gratitude:

  • this gorgeous day
  • that was my husband was able to go on the fishing trip to Florida that he wanted to go on
  • this skirt I’m wearing that I got at a cool store in our tiny town- it’s black with red and yellow flowers all over it
  • my son’s humming- isn’t music grand?
  • getting on the schedule to get the pool closed (I thought they’d be booked)
  • pictures from my sister- she’s visiting my dad
  • my friend SanDee- she’s a “through thick and thin” kind of friend
  • having the windows open
  • bird singing
  • wind chimes
  • the moon- my momma LoVeD the moon- she’d text me a single word “moon”. I miss that.
  • songs that come to mind all of the sudden on some random Sunday
  • babies- my friend’s baby turned 3 months old yesterday
  • movies- we have a movie room and tons of dvds, it’s fun to watch movies on a big screen
  • 2 1/2 days at home!!!!! Sunday and Monday became our Saturday and Sunday. Lots of activities going on these days
  • a sudden text from a friend- thanks, Cathy

Miracle Photos:

Different stages of zinnias ~

one of my zinnias getting ready to open
zinnia we planted for my momma
back view of a zinnia
zinnia going to seed
looks like a party dress with some swing
flowers have such amazing details

Thank you for reading. I hope your gratitude plate is overflowing and that you’re seeing miracles wherever you look! Feel free to join in!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all writing and photographs are mine

Miracles and Gratitude Day 11

Gratitude:

  • having a camera
  • learning about history
  • being able to put myself in someone else’s shoes

Two days ago, we were at Falling Springs, south of Winona, Missouri. I photographed the log cabin there, while thinking about what it must have been like so many years ago.

The road in now is curvy, hilly, and rocky. Can you imagine going there in a covered wagon or on horseback or on foot?

Building a house and a mill without a lumberyard or electric tools must have been some hard work. And then, getting the equipment there to run the mill? My goodness, I bet that took some doing!

One thing I love about the log cabin is the doorways.

log cabin at Falling Springs
front door on log cabin at Falling Springs
front door looking out

Another cool thing I really love, is the windows.

log cabin at Falling Springs

This huge window is on the back wall. The spring and mill are out that window and to the left.

big window looking out
another view of big window looking out
big window looking in

What a tremendous view from those windows it must have been. The cabin sits right near the water, with trees all around. It’s gorgeous going there now, so back then I bet it was really something to see.

Miracle photos:

Inside the mill~

inside Falling Springs Mill
Falling Springs Mill, near Winona Missouri
view of the inside of Falling Springs Mill and the water wheel out the window

Why are those photos a miracle to me? Because someone was able to get all of equipment up and running like 100 years ago, way back in the woods.

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 Unmeasured Journeys

** all photographs and writing are mine

On Seeing Miracles

Looky here, we’re half way through this 22 day challenge. So far, I have found that noticing more miracles has helped me see more miracles.

Does that mean they magically appear?

I don’t think so. For me, it’s like there are these amazing miracles all around:

  • Sunsets
  • rainbows
  • a cat laying in the sun
  • a spider perfectly positioned on a web
  • an entire street full of green lights
  • seeing friends on some random Thursday night when schedules are jam packed
  • the store having bottled water after months of not having it
  • the moon
  • a reflection on the pond
  • deer tracks in the backyard
  • wildflowers
  • having dinners with my husband (he works a lot of hours)
  • a letter from a pen pal
  • jewelry for art that’s suddenly on sale
  • food in the freezer
  • getting invited to supper with a friend I haven’t seen in months
  • golfing with my dad on a Monday (we live 8 hours apart)

Do I notice them as miracles all-the-time? Um no.

Does that make them any less miraculous? Not really.

What seems mundane from on perspective, can completely change when looking at it from another.

For instance, there are sunsets most days, so what’s the big deal?

Well, for one, it’s pretty darn awesome that our eyes allow us to see sunsets! On top of that? Our eyes can let us see all the colors in that sunset!

Eyes + colors + sunset = miracles

How cool is that?

I’m excited about 11 more days of gratitude and noticing. Hope you’ll join in, too.

Thank you for being here!

Jessica

golf tees in my pocket after
golfing with my dad, now they’re souvenirs

Miracles and Gratitude Day 9

Gratitude:

  • pretty days to drive
  • 2 lane country highways
  • a day with my boy

Yesterday, we finished the second half of our trip home from my dad’s. We took country roads a lot of the way and saw some old buildings and tiny towns. Love that.

a stately building with a wagon in some town
care for a sit?

At an intersection, I saw this sign on a building and laughed. I asked my son if there’s a store where we can get A’s too. Ha ha.

‘N’ store in the country that we saw

Miracle photos:

I had my highest game ever bowling last night!!! I got a 123! A few weeks ago, I had a 49.

my highest score ever!

I also broke a 100.

scored 100+

What miracles are you seeing? Noticing any big or small ones? Feel free to share, if you’d like. I love reading them. Thank you.

Jessica

© COPYRIGHT 2022 UNMEASURED JOURNEYS

** all photos and writing are mine