happiness

Cheeses loves me

I was driving the girl home this afternoon and Jesus Loves Me sung by Paul Brandt came on. 

She starred giggling about how it really does sound like Cheeses Loves Me. Her little cousin made this announcement while out for Sunday brunch with his parents and Jenna has loved the story ever since. 

For some reason it kept getting funnier and funnier for her. She stopped laughing, took a deep breath, wiped her eyes and said I’m crying. I’m laughing so hard I’m crying. And went off in uncontrollable laughter again. 

I love it when she laughs, to hear it come from deep in her belly was awesome. It made me laugh too. Happiness. 

We laughed all the way through the hay valley towards home. 

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Recharge

I’ve been noticing lately how incredibly tired I am. It’s like the long, drawn out tired that has been sitting inside my soul for years as I’ve struggled to get to this place – safe, happy, home. Now that I don’t have to struggle anymore I’ve discovered how completely exhausted I am. Those burdens aren’t as heavy, but I haven’t bounced back to where I was before either. I’m in a recharge process and I have to remember that.

Today was spent reorganizing the house a little bit. The season has changed, it was dark when we left for school this morning, the winter gear needed to be brought out. I’m thankful that I have the time to focus on building the safest, happiest home I can for my family. I’m grateful that I can be reminded of how to use my energy and how to recharge myself so I have enough to give.

It was a quiet happiness moment as I pulled out the winter things and hung them on the walls. I decided that come November 1 this year I am putting Christmas all over the house. We will celebrate the love and joy in this family! Plus, I have these really cool Yoda lights and I can’t wait to hang them.

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The last day…

Typically this weekend is a sad one. We are usually heading to the airport, crying, and saying goodbye to family. Sometimes we are lucky and a winter storm in Chicago or the East Coast cancels flights and we get to have an extra day or so. But, our hearts always know there is a sad goodbye coming.

This year we don’t have to go anywhere but down the road to our home. We have spent a lot of time this weekend talking about how nice it is to be here to stay and not have all that emotional upset of having to say goodbye to everyone.

I’ve been going over some blog posts from the beginning of this year and what really hits me is how brutally lonely we were back then. I am so grateful that we don’t have to be so alone anymore. Whatever other turmoil the past year brought us, I am thankful that we are back home.

We took the kids out for one last run on the sleds before we are back to the grind tomorrow. I think they had fun….


Hearing the laughter as they flew past me howling in joy was my happiness moment for the day. What a great start to the year. I have felt very held in love by those around us these past few days. It’s so easy to get caught up in negative thoughts, it has been very good to remember that there are loving, kind, fun people to share laughter and life with.

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The new year, 2016

I have been doing a lot of reflecting and had planned to do a post about all the changes that happened in 2015, and how I feel now heading into a new year. It really is a great time for a new beginning and a new and happier life.

However, the last 24 hours have been full of fun, laughter, sledding, visits, and eating. With very little time left over for sleeping – so forget about writing. 

So I will just do my happiness moment for today and reflect later. Today it was driving the girls on their sleds while the boys stood in the snow and played with their light savers after having seek Star Wars for the second time. 

  
Also, my cousin made Grandma’s Christmas sauce and I pigged out on it on top of some panettone. It was so delicious and so full of childhood memories. 

I love this time of the year when we all make more time to visit and enjoy each other. 

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Skiing out the back door

I cam home this afternoon from running some errands in town to find ski tracks leading from the road right up to our back door.

I stood in the yard and spent  some time attempting to put together what happened from looking at the snow tracks. As far as I can tell, Jenna put on her cross-country skis inside our mudroom and skied right out from there to the road, joining her cousin. There were ski tracks from the cousin’s place down to the road where the two tracks met up.

The fields around the houses are filled with memories of family, both young and old, enjoying outdoor activities – skiing, sledding, walking, riding, walking, the list goes on… I am grateful that my kids are now a part of that memory footprint.

My happiness moment today – coming home to see the ski tracks leading right out from our back door.

 

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Tea and a birthday party

The day started off with a beautiful drive in the cold, bright morning air. I was glad I was inside my car. Somehow I thought it was about -5c but turns out it was more like -22c. That made it chilly, but oh so beautiful. There was something really peaceful about the time I spent on my morning errands.

The beauty of my morning drive.    
  
This afternoon we had one of those wonderful Christmas break moments where family stopped by for a visit. An aunt and uncle, and another uncle came by and we had tea and left over Christmas baking. Well, I passed on the baking (I may have overindulged already), but I sat and had a delightful cup of tea. I gave up caffeine about 4 years ago, and that has done wonders for my anxiety. But every once in a while I wistfully think of how delightful a nice cup of real tea would be.

Today I made a pot of Murchie’s 2000 blend and I just couldn’t resist, I love their tea. I drank my cup and it was so good! It made me feel happy right down to my toes. Even the caffeine didn’t seem to have much affect on me. Not that that means that I’m in a big rush to start drinking it again. I dedicated my life to pushing panic attacks to the side, and I’ve done a pretty good job of that. I’m in no rush to bring something in that could cause anxiety. But, that one cup was so good! A little happiness moment for myself.

We had a nice visit with the family. I often see my one uncle in the grocery store and we get a little chance to catch up, but to be able to sit down and really visit is an entirely different thing. It’s so nice to be here where there is family to visit with and share our time together.

Jenna and my niece have birthdays coming up very soon so we had our annual the girls are together birthday party and enjoyed a really nice family supper. Naturally followed by present opening and ice cream, because heck – it was a party. I feel so blessed that we can share in these family occasions and be relaxed about it. Usually this birthday celebration is accompanied by tears as we are packing suitcases and preparing to leave the next day. Not this year! I am so thankful that we are here and we don’t have to prepare to say goodbye to loved ones. It lightens the heart considerably.

The peaceful drive, the tea visits, and the girl birthday party. My happiness moments for the day.

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Dashing through the snow 

Today’s happiness moment is a very simple one because it was a simple kind of day. We seemed to all be pretty tired and there wasn’t a lot of movement. That’s happiness in and of itself, as I feel like we are always on the go. 

It snowed off and on all day which made for a beautiful winter silence. Jenna and I drove over to my cousin’s place in my city car, pretty unsure we were going to make it safely. But that little car dug deep (literally in some places) and we powered through. 

My happiness moment was driving through the snow with my girl as we looked at the deer in the fields. It was a beautiful moment. 

  

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On Christmas Day (2015)

We went into Christmas Day a little unsure as to how we would feel about it. I was glad I’d already had my huge melt down cry about missing Dad last night at church while singing Silent Night. Still though, I just wasn’t quite sure what a Christmas  would look like without him. 

I felt his presence here so strongly today that for the first time in forever I kept forgetting he isn’t here in body with us anymore. 

And oh did we manage to pack a lot of fun into the day. We ripped into Santa stuff by 6am and shortly after that into the presents. The cousins played, I pulled kids on their sleds…and we ate.  Oh my did we eat!

 Rear view picture 

There was a lot of happiness to be had on this beautiful Christmas Day. We were surrounded by loved ones in the place that my heart loves the most of all… Home. 
I saw happiness everywhere I looked  today. Happiness on the face of my child though is something that brings me joy and delight right to the core of my soul. Seeing their joy today was my happiness moment. That and hearing their giggles as I pulled them down the driveway on their sleds. 

What happiness looks like 

 
This has been a year of deep spiritual growth for me and I am blessed that we were here to celebrate the birth of Jesus with our loved ones. 

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Jacob’s Christmas Miracle 

For the last three years one of the things on Jacob’s Christmas wish list was to be able to see the Northern Lights.  I have always loved them and we used to get to see them as part of the usual winter experience, but not so much for Southern raised Jacob. He’s been waiting and hoping to catch a glimpse of them for years.

Tonight we were outside in the field walking home. It’s so beautiful at night right now, the sky is clear, the moon is almost full and so bright, and there’s enough snow on the ground to really bounce that moonlight back up. It’s a magical time. We looked north, and wouldn’t you know… there were green lights dancing across the sky. We had to stand and stare for a while. Then Jacob and I got so excited and happy that he was finally seeing them that we actually danced in the field under the stars in the moon beam while the Northern Lights danced above us. That was silly and crazy and fun and happy.

We spent about an hour outside watching Mother Nature’s fireworks until the boy and the dog were both so cold (I was actually dressed for the weather for once) that we had to come in.

What a score on a bonus happiness moment for the day.

I tried and tried to get a good photo, but with my iPhone there just was no doing justice to what our eyes got to see. It’s a memory I will hold in my mind and heart forever though.

 

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Simple things 

Today my happiness was  found doing simple things. It was another beautiful day, I love these bright sunny days that have no wind. I went out for a walk along the ridge – so no wind was essential for an enjoyable time. This was where Dad would go for his walks whenever he could, and where we scattered some of his ashes. I can see why he loved it so much, it’s beautiful. I used to love riding along the creek below, so it had an extra boost of happiness as I remembered the freedom I felt spending hours wandering around with Pirate.

I stood at the spot where we scattered his ashes and cried for a while. I’m not really sure why. So much emotion has been stored up inside. Sadness over Dad, sadness over a lot of things I’ve had stuck inside of me for a long time that I’m finally learning to let go of. I’m starting to realize that I need to feel those feelings and acknowledge them in order to let them leave.  Then I had to giggle a little bit when I thought of how lucky I was that it was warm out. If it had been cold and windy all those tears would have stuck to my face, then I really would have had something to cry about.

I came back in the yard and went over to the hill where the girls were sledding. That brought lots of laughter back into my heart. There’s something about being around people who are really enjoying life that makes me feel the same way. The happiness overpowers the sad all the time.

As an added happiness moment, Jenna is still healthy and happy after her long cough. Saturday night she slept 15 hours and last night 14 hours. I am so grateful she had the time to slow down and spend time healing her body – and then time to get outside and enjoy life!

 

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