Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Happy Heart: Be Happy

From day one of my blog, I promised myself that I would try to be as real as possible.
I would try to capture my 'real' life.
Life in a 'real' home, with a 'real' family, and a home full of people who deal with 'real' things.


 We all have those days.
You know the ones.

The ones where you have grand intentions of feeling joyful about everything, skipping through your day, laughing at the fun of life.....

and then you realize that your new plan is to just be as happy as possible.

Well, today has been that day. 

I am extremely grateful for many things.

But, there are just some days that feel a bit tough.

You know 'those' days.


Well, today was one of mine.

At one point I was discouraged that I couldn't shake my funk.

And then I decided that I needed to do the best I could.
I needed to be as happy as I possibly could.

And that would be enough.

And it worked.

My day hasn't been perfect.

And I still find myself venturing toward the 'funk'.


I DO feel like I have honestly tried to be as happy as I possibly could.

And today, it makes my heart happy that my decision to TRY made the difference.

We can't all have perfect days.

But we CAN decide to try to make the best of them.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Happy Heart: Kindness

Something that is very dear to my heart is kindness.
And today is the end of "Random Acts of Kindness" week.

We've had a few little hiccups this week, so all my grand plans for this week fell apart.
And I have been so bummed.
I had so many fun ideas of things I was going to do.

Then this morning,  I realized something I COULD do.

So, I grabbed some caramels and off I went.
I handed them all out at church and came home feeling pretty good about the day.

But I was still kind of bummed that I had missed my favorite week!

Then I started to realize how ridiculous that was.
Why not still do my ideas?
Why was I thinking I could only do them because it
was "Random Acts of Kindness Week"?


Kindness isn't shown on some timetable.
Kindness should be at the very core of who we are.
We should always be looking for moments where we can show kindness.

It really IS possible to find moments when we can be kind.

They are always there. 
We just have to look for them.

Today, it makes my heart happy to know that I can ALWAYS find those moments.
I can ALWAYS try to be kind.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Happy Heart: Ordinary Moments

Today, my heart is very full and happy 
when I think about the life I have.

And I am thankful for all the ordinary moments that make 
it such an amazing life.

This morning, I had one of those moments.

I sat there today and listened to four little ones giggling as they were watching Saturday morning cartoons. 
I realized that at that moment, something that is so ordinary in our home, seemed EXTRAORDINARY. 

I sat and listened to them talk and laugh. 
I looked at their sleepy little faces. 
I saw them snuggled up together under cozy little blankets.

And I found myself feeling very grateful for that ordinary moment.

Then later, I was cleaning through some photos and realized how many made me think of "ordinary moments" in our home.

I loved thinking about those moments.

These truly are the moments when you realize how EXTRAORDINARY your life is.

I'm grateful for the reminder of today.
I'm grateful to remember so many of those moments.
And I'm grateful for a life full of such moments.

So, if you think your life is ordinary,
take a minute and think of your own "moments".

I promise that we all have them.

And when we can find joy in them, 
life really is


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Simply Sunday: A Happy Heart: Friends

Very few things make my heart happier than my friends.

They make me laugh.
They teach me.
They make me a better person.

As I was looking through my pictures of my friends, I realized that I have a very unique relationship with each of them. 

I love them all, but I love them all for different reasons.

I remember specific moments in my childhood when my mother taught me the importance of loving everyone. She taught me to always make sure I had room in my heart for everyone, especially those who really needed a friend.

And I remember so clearly feeling that I really wanted to be that person.

When I consider the things that make my heart happy and bring me joy, I really do have to talk about my friends.

I feel like I have been richly blessed to have the friends that I do.

And they come from all walks of life.

They have each found their way into my heart, into a spot that is theirs and theirs alone.
And once they find that spot, they will ALWAYS be there.

It doesn't matter how much time goes by, it doesn't matter the distance, they will always be my friend.


As I was looking through pictures, I wished I had a picture with each of my friends. 
So, this is me - giving you fair warning.

It has become a new goal.
Be ready. :)

To all my friends today.

Thank you.

Thank you for making room for me.

Thank you for a life filled with so many moments of joy.

Today, you each make my heart VERY happy.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Happy Heart: My Friend "K"

I'm so excited about today's post.

This month I've been thinking about all the things that make my heart happy.

And trust me, there are MANY.

Before I go any further, I should probably explain today's post.

I have a friend who makes my heart happy in ways that are hard to describe.

And this sweet friend has threatened me within an inch of my life if I ever did a post on her.

(ohhhh.....I feel the gut giggle coming)


In an effort to be a good friend, I've decided to 'disguise' her, so she can't be mad at me.

(yep. the giggle is coming)

And to be extra safe, I will just call her "K".
(those of you who know her will know why this is making my gut giggle REALLY LOUD right now)


Introducing my friend "K"

No eyes. 
Great disguise.
But, maybe someone will still be able to tell.
Let's try something different.

That might be better.
Her smile IS pretty fantastic.
But, then again, maybe I should try something else.
I don't want her to be upset with me.

I don't know.
What do you think?
Is that good enough?



That's a great disguise.



On to my friend "K"

The first time I flew out to Tennessee to meet Big Daddy was the first time I met "K".

He picked me up from the hotel the first morning and gave me some lame excuse about having to go somewhere.....and do something.....blah, blah, blah.....and THEN he said, 

"Sooo, I'm going to have you spend some time with my friend 'K'."

It was my first 'interview'.

And my life with "K" began.

I still remember those first moments of meeting her. 
They are locked into my brain and into my heart.
I instantly knew that I had found not just a friend, 
but a kindred spirit.
I knew that our lives would be connected from that point on.

And they have been.

I spent the day with her and her darling girls, and loved every single minute. 
That time with them is also locked into my heart.

She made a decision from the very beginning to find 
a place in her heart for me and she has very tenderly kept me in that spot.

She has loved me.
She has listened.
She has calmed my fears.
She has seen me shed many tears and has cheered me on as I've dealt with the challenges of this life.

She has been not only a friend, but a sister, a confidant, a healer, and my lifesaver on many occasions.

I talk to "K" on the phone just about every day. 
And when I don't, my day is not the same.

She always has stories for me and she ALWAYS makes me laugh.
She gets me.

On every level.

And I love her for that.

So, "K"
Thank you.

Thank you for a friendship that is uniquely ours.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for putting up with me.
Thank you for your example.

You are beautiful in every possible way
and you make me a better person.

You truly are a kindred spirit.

And today, you make my heart very happy.

(And no one can be mad at someone with a happy heart. Just remember that.)

hee hee hee

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Happy Heart: Big Daddy Time

I think it's safe to say that anyone who knows me, knows how much I love Big Daddy.

He is my whole world.

And he makes me incredibly happy.

Don't get me wrong, there are times I want to poke him in the eye.
I don't want to cause permanent damage.....
just a little pain.

hee hee hee.

Oh, come on!
You wives know what I'm talking about!
Let's keep it REAL.


When you have kids, you HAVE to make time for each other.

My favorite time of day with Big Daddy is at night.

We have our little routine that I love and it's something that I look forward to every night.
It's nothing exciting, but it's ours.

After kids are in bed, we get comfy.
This consists of Big Daddy putting on his "meggings" as he calls them, his white long john shirt and his orange Tennessee hat.

I, of course, look glamorous in my combination of yoga pants and Big Daddy's sweatshirt.


Then, if I wasn't beautiful enough, I grab my makeup remover and go to work.
I love that Big Daddy tolerates my raccoon eyes, but also love him for the fact that he still thinks I'm beautiful when the makeup is gone.

Then we watch tv.
Just like everyone else.
We have our favorite shows.
We have our favorite treats we sometimes eat.

We push pause on the dvr and talk.

And I love it.

I love my time with him at night.
I love touching base and reconnecting.
I love watching the stress of his day melt away.
I love that he is interested in my day and that he asks a million questions.
I love that he cares.

And then, at the end of our talks, it always ends like this.


I've realized that I love so many details of this routine with Big Daddy.

I love watching him fall asleep. 

I love how peaceful he looks.

I love that his arm always goes up and behind his head.

I laugh when he's going into that deep sleep and 
his whole body jerks....
and then he opens his eyes in a dazed look - trying to figure out what just happened.
And then he's out again.

I love when he sits and giggles in his sleep.

And I love the conversations he has with someone in dreamland.

I love my time with him.

Today, he makes my heart happy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Happy Heart: My Keely

The other night I sat on the couch with this little cutie and had one of "those" conversations that you don't forget as a mom.

She had a homework assignment and had to write a report on her birth.

I adopted Keely when she was 15 months old, so there are many details about her birth that I don't know.

She asked question after question, 
and we didn't know many of the answers.

I watched her try to be brave and to not be discouraged.
I watched her process the fact that her report would be a little different.

I decided to put her papers away for a bit so we could just sit and talk.

I wasn't adopted, so I have no point of reference for what it feels like, especially as a teenager.
I can imagine that it would be very hard to not know things that are IMPORTANT things.

At one point I asked Keely, "What are you feeling right now about being adopted?"
And she said, "Well, I wish I knew more, but I wouldn't change it. I'm glad YOU are my mom."

I tried hard to hold the tears in.
I feel the same.

I'm so very grateful I'm her mom.
She was my first miracle.

I'm grateful for being able to watch her overcome hard things, 
and remain in awe of her strength and determination.

I'm grateful for the chance to share every day with her.
She has taught me about life, about love, and about enduring hard things.
She has been through a lot with me, and has been my rock through it all.

I'm grateful that she loves me.
I'm grateful that she's mine.
And I will always be grateful for the trust placed in me to be her mom.

KEELY makes my heart happy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Happy Heart: Get Well

I had all sorts of plans for blog posts in February!

I have so many things that make my heart happy.

But, right now, I have this.....

And I know I'm not the only mom out there who has sick kids.

I love my kids.
But, I don't love it when they are sick.

The great thing about my kids is that they really are easy when they don't feel good.
But, easy or not, it starts to take a toll on everyone.

It's hard to be a momma of sick little munchkins.

But, in those moments, it's still easy to find things to be thankful for.

I was snuggling with Luke and Lucy this morning, as they both 
sounded like they were going to cough up a lung. 

After a bad coughing spell, I turned to look at them both.
And I realized how grateful I was at that moment for kids 
who are sick, but who I KNOW are going to get better. 
They will get rid of this little bug and will be off and running, living full and happy lives.

I know there are many mother's out there who sit by their sick children, knowing they won't get better.
My thoughts went to them this morning and I found myself saying a silent prayer for those brave mom's. The mom's I don't know, but I know they are out there.

I then found myself feeling very grateful for my sick little munchkins.
Grateful that they will get better.
Grateful that this will be short lived.
Yet, that gratitude is mixed with tender thoughts of so many others less fortunate than I.

It has made me want to snuggle them a little tighter.

Today, although my kids are sick, they really are healthy.

And today, that makes my heart happy.