ap-pre-ci-ate; (verb)

  1. Recognize the full worth.
  2. Be grateful for (something).

I’ve been caught up recently.  For the last two months, I’ve been working intensely on my next guide.  For the last two weeks, I’ve been focused deeply on recommitting myself here with MvD.

Whenever I burrow myself into “work”-mode like this, I have a tendency to take things for granted.

As I was looking through some recent pictures Courtney took, the one above made me stop.  Something about it forced me to appreciate...Woah,” I thought, “She’s getting really, really good at this.”

You see, Courtney’s been very dedicated in improving her photography skills.  She’s chipped away at her goal slowly, taking photos every couple days, renting books from the library, following blogs and joining forums online.  She doesn’t have any of the fancy gadgets or lenses that many do… just the stock lens that came with the camera and a big scoop of dedication.

Unfortunately, it took a photo like the one above to make me appreciate all that hard work!

This particular photo also made me realize the dramatic development Milligan is experiencing.  As she approaches 2.5 years old, she’s a beautiful, strong-willed, and curious little girl… three traits I hope she maintains the rest of her life.

At this point, Milli is growing and changing weekly, if not daily. This is a phase in her life that demands my appreciation!  If I were to take it for granted, I’d regret it the rest of my life.

Don’t wait for a picture to jolt you. Many of us are burdened by financial mistakes, consumed with work, and/or distracted by the meaningless details of daily life.   But that’s no excuse.

What things in your life deserve more appreciation?  More importantly, what people in your life deserve more appreciation?

Don’t hesitate.  Take some time out of your day to tell them.

Make time to appreciate.


photo by the amazing Courtney Baker

28 thoughts on “Ap-pre-ci-ate”

  1. Your so right. It’s incredibly easy to lost in the work we do. We work so hard to build a future for our families that we start to use them as an excuse to work more. The danger is that eventually it becomes easier to work than focus on family.

    It wasn’t until I was able to start planning my business around my family instead of my family around my business that I was able to find true happiness in what I was doing and where our business was heading.

    1. Andy, that’s a great motto… “build business around family, not family around business”.

      It’s the main reason we’ve dedicated so much time and energy to blogging and online adventures. It gives us the flexibility to spend much more time together. 🙂

  2. This is an important reminder, Adam.

    I usually don’t appreciate a lot because I always think about the future. There are times in my life where I missed a lot of emotional magic because I wasn’t fully in the moment.

    That’s not going to happen anymore. I now appreciate everything – because it’s gift from the universe. I appreciate the sour and boring times, because they tell me that I have to change my mindset in order to live my life on a grander scale.

    It’s usually super-hard for me to appreciate a lot, but with practice, I’m getting better at it, every single day.

    Best of all, I appreciate reading your post 😉

  3. Baker-

    I love your perspective on life, love and finances. Often, it is your posts that are not related to money that have the strongest resonance… this post is no exception. We must live in an attitude of gratitude.

    Milli is adorable.

    Courtney’s photography is great.

    Congrats on 7000!


  4. Sometimes its hard not to get caught up on working for the future.

    Breathe, slow down, relax and enjoy the now 🙂

    p.s. Courtney is getting pretty good!

  5. What a great photo! And cute kiddo!

    My younger brother turned 21 yesterday (yahoo!) and my mom and I went through his baby book last night and it was a great reminder of how much I love him and her for so many reasons.

  6. You’re one lucky bloke Baker, and not just because you have a remarkable and loving family but because you recognize and “appreciate” it.

    In all the hustle-and-bustle of our lives we all really need to comprehend that what’s importart are the collection of all the precious little things. It is those little yet miraculous daily moments that give rise to triumphant joy and meaning!

    Thanks for sharing, and give my best to the Baker gals! 🙂

  7. Amazing picture! Milligan is beautiful! I always get caught up about the future, worry about it and used to think the amount of money as a measure of success. A lot of recent events and some looking back has humbled me. Now I realize unless I appreciate what I have right now, I will never be satisfied with any amount of money. I will never be happy. If we slow down and realize how blessed we are… it gives a new hope and drive to face the future challenges!

    Great post!

  8. Great post. My family and I have been thinking a lot about this topic lately as we settle back in to life at home after a great year of life together on the road. We thought we’d try and slow things down a bit by devoting one evening each week to turning off screens and lights and concentrating on spending time as a family. Last night was our first try at it and it worked really well. Things were quiet, serene and we really had a chance to hang out and talk as a family, read together and enjoy the summer evening.

    There will be challenges of course, like figuring out how the kids will do their homework by candlelight. That’s all part of the fun though.

  9. My issue is a bit different — appreciating (more so recognizing) the work that I’m doing and how I’m improving.

    I find it easy to appreciate my husband for putting up with me wanting to pursue some of my dreams, but I can’t seem to deal with the slow start I’m off to… When I should be happy that I’m starting at all and doing things weekly (trying to do things daily) to put myself in a better place.

  10. I know when you work hard on something thats when you appreciate it the most. My wife taught me the lessons of respect and doing it, for the self appreciation of it. You can do things and never receive the appreciation like your own. Its satisfaction for satisfactions sake. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  11. I must admit, your post was a strange surprise today. I’m thankful of my family, friend, and health. Then I thank God for the fully working air conditioner right now, otherwise it’s hot as you wouldn’t believe!

  12. Absolutely fantastic picture. You are so, so right, it is so easy to miss them years focus just on work without appre – ciating one of the best parts of living is giving life and watching it grow into an awesome person, sharing that feeling that makes your heart skip a beat when you look at what you have both created and with pictures to prove you stayed in the moment, magical. You are blessed. keep up the good work.

    All the best

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  15. You ready for a teacher jolt? The amount of vocabulary that a child gains between 2-5 (or when they start speaking to Kindergarten) will set them for their school years. NIH determined that the amount of vocabulary entering Kindergarten is the dividing factor between those who achieve and those who struggle. When Milli says for the millionth time, “What’s that?” Appreciate that you are adding to that vocabulary.
    Appreciation is so difficult to come by and so important to have!

  16. You are right on with this post! Thanks for the thoughts. I need to really stop and reflect more to appreciate all the great things in my life that I take for granted. It’s amazing how easily one can overlook this stuff.

    Milligan is gorgeous and the photo in the post is pretty awesome.

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