Focus on the family

Last evening, after the family party at my aunt’s place, extended family/neighbors ended up visiting mom at the same time we were there.

I remember talking to them years ago about their kids (who are now in their 30s), and he said that they didn’t do a lot of sleepovers or camps because they wanted to do things together as a family. That has stuck with me as I’ve been raising my kids. They do things with friends, but I’ve always tried to put a lot of emphasis on family time.

Last night we were talking about the community, the family, and getting older. We all agreed that getting older sucked more than we had thought, but also that it was lonelier than it had been in previous generations.

He said focus used to be on family and on the community. Now you are supposed to always be doing something outside of the home, when before it used to be important to do things at home with your family.

That is IT That’s the secret. We need to be spending more time building love bridges with our people and less time feeding our egos.

I’ve been thinking about that all day – as I worked with a family friend, as I played with my horse, as I chatted with a cousin, as I visited with my mom, and as I came home to the happy chatter of my kids.

It’s all about the tribe. It’s all about love and the relationships we build.

So in my childhood this man used to pull me out of stupid situations I’d get into with my horse (oh too many of them), and now he offers these little gems of wisdom. And both he and his wife walk the talk. They are two of the kindest people I know.

Happiness ❤️


Shortbread cookies

My great aunt had her birthday party today. Twice a year her family hosts big community/family parties and they have become important hubs that pull the family together. Life has changed, it has become busier and we don’t always take the time we should to spend with our loved ones. This gives us an opportunity to do just that and I’m very grateful for that.

We visited, we laughed, we ate (omg the shortbread cookies at that house are to die for), and I even got a winter hat out of it!

It was fantastic. We are so lucky we are part of this tribe. Happiness.



Tonight we went to my old elementary school and watched the Christmas concert put on by my cousin. I’ve been trying to get to this concert for a couple of years now so it was well overdue

What a great concert she put on. The kids were all so well behaved and their performances were amazing. The parents were swaying in their seats and waving proudly at their kids.

It was an honor to be there to watch it.

And at the end we got to help put away the handbells. Handbells was my favorite part of elementary school and it was really fun to give the bells a little ring as I stood in the gym where I stood 40 years ago ringing handbells.

Being grounded and rooted – that is happiness.


Dueling Christmas carols

We started to put up Christmas in the house today. This was accompanied by Christmas carols played and sang loudly. My all time favourite is Mary’s Boy Child, and the boy’s is O Christmas Tree. So we each played ours at top volume and sang out hearts out.

I realized as I was putting up our advent calendar how many wonderful Christmas traditions we have. Most of our away years we came home for the holidays, so most of our traditions are rooted here at the ranch already. Tomorrow we will get our lights up, soon we will get our tree, Christmas music will play until Boxing Day.

I found a photo taken maybe 5 or 6 years ago – my kids are standing in front of our house here and they look like it’s their home. Except it would still be quite a few years before we returned home. None of us ever thought we would be living in this house we have come to love so dearly.

How funny is that. It’s like they were practicing for years to come. Home sweet home. This place has been a safe haven on our road to happiness.


Compassionate healer

We have the best family doctor, we found her by chance and she’s not close to where we live, but I am so grateful she’s our doctor. She knows us all so well and is so caring and compassionate every time we go to see her. It makes us feel safe, cared for, and listened to.

The girl had to go see our doctor today and as usual it was such a positive experience. She expressed some teenage concerns and the doctor listened, not just listened but heard and was fully present in the moment. She made my girl feel important, cared for, and loved. That is a real gift. It’s happiness.

A bonus happiness moment is that we were feeling well enough today we could finally go visit mom again. It’s been a week since I got this cold/flu thing going on and I wasn’t able to go in and see her. Talk about an amazing lady with so much courage and strength.


Today they curled

Today we went to small town Alberta and the kids participated in a very Canadian activity – they went curling. Somehow I have never curled before, but it sure looked like they were all having a lot of fun. Turns out this is an unexpected bonus of the kids joining 4H is they get to do cool things like this.

It was good to get out and laugh and have a little bit of fun. Happiness.


Good sport

My boy got cut during basketball tryouts today. He was devastated but even as he was telling me (and I was sad and upset) he squared his shoulders and said but the coach asked me to be manager. I won’t play but I’ll still go to all the games and help out.

That boy. I am so proud of him. He took his sad situation and turned it around. He will make a great manager for the team.

Proud mama happiness moment.