Gratitude Beyond the Feast: Reflecting on Thanksgiving Blessings

Gratitude Beyond the Feast: Reflecting on Thanksgiving Blessings
Gratitude Beyond the Feast: Reflecting on Thanksgiving Blessings
Written by Lodestar Solutions Team Members, November 2023

Heather Cole

As the season of gratitude approaches, I find myself reflecting on the abundance of blessings that have enriched my life throughout the year. Foremost among them is my incredible support team, a mosaic of love, encouragement, and inspiration. My heartfelt gratitude extends to my husband, cherished family members, steadfast friends, and invaluable colleagues at Lodestar Solutions and Heatherized.

Pine Marten

This year has been marked by the joy of shared moments with loved ones, as friends and family gathered in various locations to revel in the beauty of nature. From encounters with Morrie the moose to the peculiar pine marten that resembled a charming blend of raccoon, fox, and squirrel, we found solace, inspiration, and the space to challenge each other creatively.

What I treasure most about my support network is their unwavering spirit of growth. Friends, family, and team members alike embody a relentless pursuit of improvement, challenging not only me but the status quo itself. Their belief in finding a better way serves as a constant reminder to seek innovation and push boundaries.

Beyond the human connections that grace my life, I find immense gratitude for the role of artificial intelligence (AI). This transformative technology has liberated precious time that would otherwise be consumed by tasks like crafting blogs, marketing content, and persuasive emails. The efficiency brought by AI empowers us to focus on serving clients, elevating the skills of analytic professionals, and delivering heightened value to our respective enterprises.

Oz

In the tapestry of gratitude, there is a special thread reserved for my steadfast companion, Ozzie, my 13-and-a-half-year-old golden retriever. His enduring presence, marked by slow but cherished walks, serves as a poignant reminder to appreciate each day with the old man Oz. 

As we gather around tables laden with the warmth of Thanksgiving feasts, let us carry this spirit of gratitude into the coming year. May the blessings of companionship, innovation, and the simple joys of life illuminate our paths. Wishing you all a fabulous Thanksgiving and a year ahead filled with endless possibilities in 2024.

Mike Bernaiche

It is that time of the year when we talk about what we are thankful for.  But as I sit to write this, maybe we should be talking about what we are thankful for all year long, not just the week of Thanksgiving.  In this crazy world filled with war, hate, and uncertainty, maybe expressing our thanks more often will give us that warm feeling that you get during this week.  I’m going to commit to giving thanks each day.  Will you join with me in this endeavor?

Since we are writing this blog, I will provide all the things I’m thankful for.  I’m thankful for the God I serve and his grace and forgiveness.  The thanks I have for my wife has no limits.  Our kids have all grown and with that comes change in the house.  We are navigating these changes together and have grown stronger than ever.  Speaking of my kids, I’m so very proud and thankful for them.  They continue to grow into incredible young adults with amazing hearts. 

I’m thankful for all our family.  As our parents get older you realize that you should savor each moment with them.  I’m thankful for our friends many of which we play softball with.  It is so much fun and such a great time playing with them throughout the year.

I’m blessed by our clients and business partners.  Without all of you, I wouldn’t find the joy in what I do.  I really appreciate my coworkers and Heather Cole.  Working in an environment like this provides such peace in my work life.

I hope you will join me in this season of reflection to give thanks today but in every day of the year.  Thank you for a great year and I pray you have an amazing holiday season.

Christina Vandeveer

“Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.” – Jefferson Bethke

Finding joy in our world sometimes can be a discipline. It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of work, meeting deadlines, and hitting sales quotas. Or maybe it’s family, kids’ sports schedules, extra-curricular commitments. All of these are good things, but it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in our to-do lists that we forget to find the joy in what we are doing. I’m not sure who first penned this quote, but I’ve heard it said many times that if the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy!

This November I’ve been trying to share something I’m thankful for each day as a way to remind myself of all I truly have to appreciate in my life. God is such a faithful God, and his abundance of goodness in my life is so evident to me.

I am so thankful for my church family. As seasons of life change, friends can come and go. But my church family has always been there. I’m thankful God has provided me with such supportive people in my life.

Christina Vandeveer

I’m thankful for my three boys, Lucas (6), Cooper (5), and Hunter (2). They definitely keep me on my toes! They are so busy, and each with their own different personalities. They will go from driving me absolutely crazy one minute, to making my mom heart well up with tears as they sing worship songs the next. My life was so dull with out them! I am so thankful to be their mom.

I’m thankful for my husband of 9 ½ years, Richard. He works so hard for us and at the same time supports me and makes sure that I have the time I need for me. When I told him I wanted to start a side gig, he was in full support! Even if that means it takes up more time. He sees me for who I am, supports my need to always want to be busy, and yet helps me slow down when I need to. God sure gave me the right partner!

2023 has been a busy year and a year of growth. I am hoping to carry this practice of thankfulness into 2024. I have big goals, and I know if I only focus on what is left to be done, not all that has been accomplished, and my blessings, then those goals will feel unreachable.

Lodestar Solutions is Thankful!

Lodestar Solutions is Thankful
Lodestar Solutions is Thankful
Written by Lodestar Solutions, November 23rd 2022

Every year we gather around the table with our family and friends and give thanks for all that we have. This year the Lodestar team has so much to thankful for, and below is just a little piece from each of us at Lodestar Solutions.

Heather Cole

Many of you that follow me, know I do “what’s my number” and “3 gratefuls” every day.  But at Thanksgiving I like to look back at the year to give thanks.  This year there is so much to be thankful for, but I’ll list a few of the top

1. My family – Without them I would not be whom I am today.  My 80 something parents are doing well and very active, especially mom the pickleball champion.  My husband Gary is extremely supportive of my crazy goals and makes me laugh every day.  And I can’t leave out the boys, our two golden retrievers that emit their super chill vibe.  But more importantly they have my back.  I always know in good or bad my family will be there.  This is so important because without their safety net, I would not have the courage to try new things, take bigger risks and be willing and able to fail.  Guess you could say I fail because of my family and that’s a good thing.

Louie and Oz
“You are the Average of the Five People You Spend the Most Time With” - Jim Rohn

2. The Lodestar Team – I am so thankful for our amazing Lodestar Team and Partners.  Their energy and commitment to serving our clients are unsurpassed.  Their positivity infects all our clients and makes work fun.  According to Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  And I am grateful I get to spend my time with the Lodestar Solutions team and clients.

3. Finally, I am grateful for Mother Nature.  Although she can show her furry, she provides such amazing events and views.  I cherish her imagination and creativity as often as I can.  Watching her spell bounding sunsets and sunrises, climbing her majestic peaks, or witnessing the first snowfall energize me.  When I am stressed, upset or just feeling down, I go outside take a hike and immediately feel better.  Mother Nature seems to put everything in perspective.  I just wish more of us could respect and honor her more. 

So, I guess you could say I am thankful for FAMILY across the board.  My immediate family, the Lodestar Solutions Family and Mama Nature, all inspire me, challenge me, and most of all make me feel grateful!

Mike Bernaiche

As I inch close to that magic birthday of 50 years old, I find myself thinking about things vastly different than I did even just a few years ago.  As I think about things, I also find myself being thankful for more and thinking about trivial things less.  When you boil it down, I’m really thankful for so much but here are the top things I’m thankful for this year.

1. Family – I have an amazing family and wife that I cherish every day.  Casey is an incredible wife and mother.  Our kids are all adults now, with 2 in college and 1 who entered the work world after graduating college last year.  Yes, we are basically empty nesters now.  While that is strange, I’m so very thankful our kids are doing well, and our relationships are incredibly strong. My parents and in-laws are getting older, and I appreciate all the time we get to spend together.  Finally, my dogs are aging as well and I’m thankful I work from home and get to spend time with them each day.

2. Health – As I mentioned, I’m approaching 50 this year and my health is generally good.  Yes, I take a statin for cholesterol and had that “wonderful” test you get when you approach this age.  Folks, go get a colonoscopy, it is so important and can identify something that is so treatable if caught early.  Overall, my family is healthy.  What I’m most thankful for in this category is that someone chose to give the gift of life through organ donation.  My mother-in-law was in kidney failure and through someone’s tragic loss, she received a new kidney almost a year ago and is doing really well.  I know this is an individual decision and I encourage everyone to make it known if you wish to be an organ donor and save a life.

3. Lodestar – Having a job that keeps you fulfilled and gives you purpose is a blessing.  I enjoy the daily grind of work and it is because of the people I work with every day, both internal and external.  Really Lodestar could be categorized under family, because that is how much I care about the people I work with. 

I wish each of you a very thankful Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season!

Christina Vandeveer

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1.

1. Faith - I know that my blessings come from my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I am so thankful for his goodness in my life. I’m thankful for my church family that supports me and my little family.

2. Family - This year has flown by.  Navigating life with 3 boys, now 5 and under has been well….insane!  However, I know the days are long, but the years are short.  Our boys are Lucas (5), Cooper (4) and Hunter (18 months).  I am so blessed to have such a supportive family that partners with me to raise our boys.  And I couldn’t do any of this without my hard-working hubby.  One of the things I appreciate the most about him is no matter how long of a day he may have had at work as soon as he walks in the door, he jumps into dad mode.  He truly enjoys doing bedtime with our boys and he rocks at it!  He is never too tired to read them their books at night and hear all about their days. 

3. Friends - The street I live on is called Calvin Ct.  And all of us on the street have named ourselves the, “Calvin Ct. Crew.”  There are 17 kids under 7 that live on the street plus many older siblings.  These people aren’t just my neighbors, they are my friends.  From the constant asking each other what house our kids are at, to the late-night mom time hiding in the hot tub from our kids.  I know these friends have got my back.  They have become my village and I and so grateful for them.

4. Sports!  Did you know my husband and I met through church softball?  It’s such a fun story and I love every detail of how God used softball to bring us together.  But whether it’s playing softball with my husband or going to watch our littles play whatever they are feeling this month, currently it’s basketball and baseball, I love it!  Playing a sport and exercising teach discipline and teamwork and these are so valuable for my kids to learn.

Along with playing softball I am thankful for my local gym that I attend.  I may not make it every day, but the days I do make it are better because of it.  The encouragement and challenge that I receive from the coaches and members makes me a better person and momma.  Whether it’s trying to do the heavier weights or working on my boxing form.  I’m thankful for this consistent positive in my life.

We all have many things we can be thankful for, and those were just a few!  We at Lodestar hope you know that we are thankful for our clients and hope that you have a fantastic holiday with your friends and family!

Lodestar Solutions is Thankful

Lodestar Solutions is Thankful
Lodestar Solutions is Thankful
Written by the Lodestar Solutions Team, November 18th, 2021

This week we are going to take a brief time out from our normal value driven IBM Cognos and coaching blogs.  We at Lodestar Solutions have a lot to be thankful for both personally and professionally.  Please take a moment and read our thoughts below.

Heather Cole

2021 Started out as a year of hope.  The vaccine was being released and I think we all hoped that life would return to “normal.”  But what is normal?  Despite the fact for many of us the world might not have gotten back to where we wished I believe there is still a lot to be grateful for! 

I am thankful for being asked to speak at various virtual events.  I love inspiring people and missed the stage.  I am grateful I have been able to surround myself with amazing individuals remotely like our clients, the new global Artificial Intelligence Data Analytics User Group for which I am a founding member, my fellow high-performance coaches and of course my family and friends.  I love being around people that challenge me to think bigger and act bolder.  On a personal note, my husband Gary was given his green card, so I get to keep him.  We also added a new furry to our family, Louie.  But most of all I am grateful my family and friends have been safe during this uncertain time.

Louie

Mike Bernaiche

Thanksgiving is always a great time of the year to really sit and take stock on what you have to be thankful for.  As I write this, I’m thankful for so many things both professionally and personally.

In a time when many have had to change their career path due to the pandemic, I’m blessed to have a stable job and work for a company that provides so many opportunities for growth and development.  I work with the best clients, peers and team members a guy could ask for. 


Mike Bernaiche

Personally, I’m so thankful and blessed by my family.  My wife is an amazing partner in life and the best wife and friend a person can ask for.  My oldest daughter is a senior in college (yes, I’m starting to feel old) scheduled to graduate in May 2022.  We had another daughter graduate high school in June and she is now in college working towards her future goals.  Our other daughter is now a senior in high school and is applying to a number of colleges and is very interested in political science as a major.  My wife and I are basically empty nesters now and we are so very proud of our children and how successful they are at such young ages. 

In a time where Covid is still a major issue, we all have health and happiness and for that I’m forever grateful. 

Christina Vandeveer

As the year draws closer to the end, I feel I have a lot to be thankful for. In May my husband and I welcomed our 3rd boy to the world, Hunter Thomas Vandeveer. We rescued a four-year-old Boxer named Clark. We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. We have overall had good health as a family, getting through COVID together at the end of my pregnancy. I am thankful for my work with Lodestar Solutions, being able to work from home and be a full-time mom to my three boys and still contribute to the work force. I am able to have such valuable time with my boys when they seem to be getting so big too fast!

As I reflect on the year, I am reminded how easy it is to forget what I have to be thankful for and sometimes focus on the struggles the year has brought. 2021 has not been easy, we are still battling the pandemic and are living in a world that can seem so full of anger and loss. It sometimes is easier to just succumb to the weight of the world than to try to find the joy in every day. My encouragement to you and reminder to myself is to not take one day for granted. We are not promised tomorrow. We have to choose each day how we will live. We can complain about what we don’t have or choose to focus on all we have to be thankful for. I am thankful for so many wonderful people that make a difference in my life for the better every day and I pray that I will choose to do the same. Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving!

Hunter
Clark

Recent Lodestar Solutions Blogs

Thank You

As you can read, we have a lot to be thankful for at Lodestar Solutions.  Thank you to all our clients for an amazing year.  We sincerely appreciate you and the relationships we have developed.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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