Counting my blessings

Gigi and Grandma Remember, written by Maggie Konopa, illustrated by Dayne SislenIt’s that thankful time of year again. Day by day we scurry around doing what needs doing at the moment without taking the time to stop and realize our true blessings. When we truly think about it, it’s our relationships with our spouse or significant other, family, and friends that are the most important. Humans are social animals we need loving relationships. Good health and natural abilities come next. I also believe it’s a blessing to be able to help others. After these big blessings, it’s all the small things that bring us joy each day.

I enjoy being able to walk my dog in the park every morning with a group of hardy and supportive friends and their canine companions. I enjoy the changes in the weather we have in the Midwestern part of the U.S. When you walk 4-5 miles outside almost 365 days a year no matter what the weather, clothing choices are important. I find great satisfaction knowing I have made the correct choice of layers so I am comfortable. I’m surprisingly good at this, though I’ve been known to totally blow it big time.

I enjoy my God-given ability to draw and to paint. This talent gives me great satisfaction and I can also help others to achieve their dreams by illustrating their picture book stories. Whether I am illustrating my own picture book or a story for another author, I enjoy the challenge of taking written words and turning them into a visually compelling and interactive published book. I hope I am able to continue doing this for many more years. I also love to do artsy craft projects with children and adults.

Most times I’m someone who delights in staying home in my studio, but I also enjoy meeting and interacting with strangers. I like to see if I can turn an upside-down smile into a proper smile on a grumpy stranger. I love to entice babies and toddlers to giggle. I love to visit playgrounds and go down the slide or swing to the sky to the delight of the kids. I talk to strangers in check-out lines. I wave when someone lets me in traffic. Life is wonderful and I like to spread joy around.

Oh, let’s not forget, turkey, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, dressing, sweet potatoes, and Chocolate!


I hope everyone who reads this will make a list of things they are thankful for. Try concentrating on little joys in your life every day, not the “have-to-dos“ or the negatives.


If you would like to talk to me about illustrating your children’s picture book or designing an idea you have for a children’s product, fill in the form below. I like to talk to creative people.








That Thankful Time of Year

Each year I write about thankfulness. We all should be thankful every day of the year. I know that I am, but I don’t always express this feeling out loud. So once a year, I make a point to let everyone know how important they are to me and how thankful I am that they are apart of my life.

Mouse jumping on bread-trampoline

Thankful for my daily bread

First I want to thank my family and friends. In so many ways they make every single day better and fuller. My dear husband puts up with my erratic hours and patiently reads the drafts and dummies of my picture books over and over.  My kids and their spouses likewise make my life full and are very understanding of my flights of fancy. My grandkids are the joy of my life. I am also blessed to have a great group of loving and supportive friends.

As an artist, I am also thankful for the magic of living a creative life. I can’t imagine a life without my art and creative writing. It’s not always a smooth path, there are extreme ups and downs. But I wouldn’t want to live my life any other way.

Give yourself a few minutes this week to stop and think about all that you are thankful for. Your friends and family and special talents all add to your unique life.

If you want to talk to me about illustrating your picture book use the form below to contact me.