The days are getting crisp in the Northwest as we anticipate the holidays just a few short weeks away. Though admittedly I mourn the warmer days of summer, I enjoy the cool, blue sky days of winter and always look forward to the holiday season and spending special time connecting with my family.

One of our favorite places to go during the holidays is the beautiful resort town of Whistler. Located in the spectacular Coast Mountains of British Columbia, the village comes to life during this festive season of the year with people visiting from all over the world. There is nothing like seeing a fresh white blanket of snow draped over Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, while an incredible display of twinkling lights can be seen throughout the village creating a perfect winter escape.

This season of Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves to be grateful on purpose. We have had a Thanksgiving Day tradition in my family for many years of going around the table and each person saying something specific they are thankful for. Last year while on our annual trip, I started a new tradition for myself of recording the precious moments of our time together. This morning I pulled it out, and reading it warmed my heart as I remembered how I felt as we shared this special time. Here are a few a few of the smile-generating memories from my journal:

  • My Dad leading our Thanksgiving prayer. As his familiar words washed over me, I felt so grateful for the gift of being together as a family.
  • My husband Graham teaching my 80-year old parents how to use the rowing machine at the gym. What a good example they are to us of healthy living!
  • One of our little’s ordering a gourmet hot chocolate piled high with whip cream, and the look of pure joy as he devoured it while getting it all over himself.
  • Playing board games and realizing just how competitive we all are. The apple doesn’t fall far…
  • Dressing warm in our heavy coats, hats and boots to walk the beautiful Whistler trails.

As you think about your own life, take time to record your precious moments. These “joy” moments are the times that bring a smile to your face and bring you deep satisfaction personally or professionally. It may be times with those special people in your life, or it may be on a mountain top alone. What makes a moment precious is very personal and will be different for each of us. What makes them the same is how they make you feel. When you bring them to mind later, you can’t help but smile all over again, and even be brought right back to the moment.

In this special season, let’s slow down the pace enough to not miss the very things that mean the most to us – the moments that come and go in the blink of an eye. Record your precious moments as they become lifetime memories.


  • Janelle Bruland

    Entrepreneur, Leadership Coach, Author, Speaker, Podcast Host, & Co-Founder of Legacy Leader

    Janelle Bruland is an entrepreneur, author, speaker, and high-performance coach who inspires others to live impactful and successful lives. She is Founder and CEO of Management Services Northwest, a company she started in her living room in 1995 and has grown into an industry leading company, named one of the Fastest Growing Private Companies by Inc. magazine. The CPO of Microsoft, Mike Simms, describes her as a true pioneer in her field. Janelle is also the Co-Founder of Legacy Leader, a leadership development company that teaches business professionals how to build a legacy, transform their leadership, and love their life. She is the author of The Success Lie: 5 Simple Truths to Overcome Overwhelm and Achieve Peace of Mind.
    Janelle is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County, Washington and is married with five children. In her leisure time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, golf, as well as keeping fit through various sports and activities.