12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 3

Christmas Thankful Ryan Hylland

My birthday (the big 4-0!) has added an extra patina of sentimentality and reflection to this holiday.

In honor of this milestone—punctuated by finally unlocking the “author” achievement—I’ve assembled my own 12 days of Christmas* Thankfulness.

Day 1: Cathy Taylor
Day 2: Sue LaGow
Day 3: Ryan Hylland
Day 4: Jackie Phillips

Day 5: Szaba and Von
Day 6: Shanon Lyon
Day 7: Kerry Colburn
Day 8: Debbie Reber
Day 9: Peter Orullian

Day 10: Christa Charter
Day 11: Steam Crow
Day 12: 1986 State Fair Judging Panel

These people dropped the breadcrumbs that led me straight to this publishing adventure. Thank you, all, for your part in this Hero’s Journey.

* Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the 12 days before Christmas. Per the Oxford English Dictionary, it’s the 12 days leading up to the Epiphany (January 6) “observed as a time of merrymaking.”

Ryan Sue Toddler


As I mention at the beginning and ending of The Denim Jungle, the book simply would not exist without my husband, Ryan. Shhh. Don’t tell him, but he is Leo.

When Ryan was a little boy, he once told his mom that he felt like he was living in a Denim Jungle, surrounded by adult jean-clad legs. His mom thought the idea would make a great kids’ book and passed it on to me.

At every point in the process of writing this story, I enlisted Ryan’s help to make sure I was on track. Somewhere inside him was the child who first had that vision, and I trusted him to act as my compass. I’m so glad I did.

Not only did Ryan gift me with this rich world to convey, but he also chipped in time, money, and cheerleading to make it happen.

Thank you, Ryan, for your imagination, support, and encouragement.


I look forward to seeing where the journey goes from here and all the amazing people I’ll have the pleasure to encounter in the next 40 years…


Banner photo inspired by Sarah Witherby’s 12 Days, Flickr Creative Commons.

2 thoughts on “12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 3

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.