happy things

June 13th, 2011

happy thing: heart shadow on a bright rainbow

My friend Bonnie decided on her birthday this year that she would take a picture every day of something that made her happy, to remind herself in the midst of a difficult time to Find the Happy. She decided to create a Flickr group so her friends could share the happy too.

Finding a bit of Happy each day.

The rules:

1. Find some Happy and photograph it each day. You could choose to do it less often if that works better for your life but my theory is that the more often you look for the Happy, the more the Happy helps.
2. Do it for a year. Or less. Or more. Or as needed.
3. No Unhappy allowed. That also includes self-abuse if you miss a day or lots of days. Hippie voice: Go with the flow, man. Everything is as it should be.
4. Rules are for breaking. Except Number 3, it’s best not to upset Hippie Voice.

My heart has been heavy lately, thinking about Samantha. So I’m reminding myself of some happy things.

happy thing: homemade black & white cookies

I don’t know about you, but homemade black-and-white cookies make me very happy.

bonus happy thing

So does the cool way the sun was reflecting off this dotty coffee mug. Like little bubbles of sunlight!

happy thing: Annalie marked Troy's birthday on her calendar

I happened to glance at Annalie’s calendar a day or two before Troy’s birthday and was tickled to realize that she had drawn a miniature portrait of our family on that date, complete with him in a party hat.

happy thing: a teeny painting of a harried-looking coffee-drinking cat arriving in the mail

I love it when I get a teeny painting of a harried-looking coffee-drinking cat in the mail. Thanks, Brenda!

happy thing: french toast on a dottery plate

French toast with powdered sugar on a sunshiny dottery plate.

happy thing: making time for crocheting

Keeping a baby alive and homeschooling a 7-year-old are both time-consuming pursuits (duh), but while I barely have time to shower and I don’t seem to have time for housework, I manage to cook dinner almost every night and write emails and blog posts (sort of) and I’ve been crocheting a lot. So I guess it’s true that you do make time for what you love. And crocheting makes me happy.

happy thing: how much Annalie loves her little sister happy thing: taking my Emergen-C in this little glass from a wine festival in Cyprus

I’m sure that in a year or so I’ll be hearing many cries of “Mo-ooom, make her stop touching my stuff!” So I try extra hard to enjoy the sweet moments like this, when it’s clear how much Annalie loves her little sister.

On one of Troy’s Navy deployments years ago, he happened to go to a wine festival in Cyprus, and he brought back two of these little glasses. They’re the perfect size for a shot of juice or taking a packet of Emergen-C, and it makes me smile each time I use one. It’s such a random thing to have in my cupboard, small wineglasses from a Cypriot wine festival, yet there they are.

happy thing(s): a good book and success for a friend

I went to high school and college with Rainbow Rowell. (I know, awesome name!) She wasn’t someone I hung out with, but we knew each other. We had mutual friends, and when we went to the same university we occasionally ate lunch together. I’ve been reading Rainbow’s writing for two decades now, mostly in newspaper-column or blog-post form, but now I’ve read something way more exciting: Rainbow’s very first novel, a romantic comedy called Attachments. The night I started reading it, I actually got out of bed at 3:30am, feeling compelled to send Rainbow a message to let her know I was loving her book and was genuninely happy for and proud of her. (I’ll be interviewing Rainbow soon and doing a giveaway of her book in a blog post, so stay tuned for that!)

happy thing: rosy room happy thing: wildflower & wild strawberry bouquet

The sun was shining into Annalie’s room just right one afternoon so that her bright fuchsia sheets were reflecting a pink glow onto everything else in the room. A few days later, Annalie picked this bouquet of wildflowers, leaves of grass, and a wild strawberry from our yard for me and arranged them in an old vanilla bottle.

happy thing: a brunch that everyone can eat

The first Saturday that Sonja was here, Karyl & her girls came up to spend the day with us, which was super fun. We started with brunch—aebleskiver and home-fried potatoes and bacon and fruit—which made me very happy because I love brunch. Also, I made the aebleskiver with almond milk and coconut oil and maple syrup (in place of cow’s milk and butter and granulated sugar) so Sonja could eat them, and they were totally as delicious as usual. It was a Very Happy Thing indeed: brunch everyone could eat!

happy thing: Sonja-safe brownies

Sonja-safe brownies, made with coconut oil instead of butter and honey instead of sugar. And they tasted good! Yay! I had fun meeting the challenge of cooking without ingredients I usually rely on while Sonja was here.

happy thing: when naps end like this

I love it when naps end like this, with Elliora waking up in the Ergo and smiling when she sees me.

happy thing: perfectly summery meal

If I have to put up with hot and humid summer weather, at least I get to eat perfectly summery meals like this: grilled mini burgers, strawberries, and marinated cucumber salad. Yum.

happy thing: geeky necklace from Etsy

After seeing Lauren’s Doctor Who necklace on Flickr, I stalked this Etsy shop until she listed more so I could buy one for myself. I like how the high-top sneaker is a reference to the Chucks habitually worn by both the Tenth Doctor and Chuck Bartowski.

happy thing: popcorn traditions happy thing: dark chocolate with caramel and black sea salt

We often make popcorn with the very air-popper that I used when I was a kid, and eat it out of the exact stainless-steel bowl I used to eat popcorn from. (My mom was getting rid of the air popper and asked if I wanted it; I basically swiped the bowl because I loved it so much. Both these things are 30+ years old.)

Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar with caramel bar and black sea salt. Enough said.

happy thing: living near a good bakery

We live near a good bakery and stop there on a regular basis for treats. Every time, Annalie carefully surveys the variety of lovely, fancy cookies and pastries…and then requests a plain butter cookie. I love that.

happy thing: neighbors who own a bounce house happy thing: summer rain

I believe we’ve mentioned before that our neighbors across the street actually own a bounce house? They put it up for birthdays and parties and random weekends just for fun. And they are happy to share it with the neighborhood kids.

Rain always makes me happy.

happy thing: neon aquamarine polish

Neon aquamarine polish, and bare feet outside, and green grass, and bits of sidewalk chalk. Basically, summer’s here!

Laura Voices

March 9th, 2011

Day 103 for Troy

A couple of months ago, a lovely woman named Suzann emailed me to ask if she could have permission to use a photo of mine on her website. She’s working on a book called The Little House Literary Companion, and as part of the preparation for that book she has a website up with a short survey for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.

I’ve loved the Little House books for as long as I can remember and am honored that my humble, grainy, quickly-snapped self-portrait of me and Annalie reading is the photo Suzann wanted to use. You can see my photo and quickly take the survey (it took me all of three minutes) here: Laura Voices.

salted peanut-butter hot cocoa

February 22nd, 2011

salted peanut-butter hot cocoa

OMG. Rich and utterly delicious. Make it. That is all.

This is a photo from six weeks ago. We made this again recently and it reminded me I wanted to blog the link and never did. I really need to get a sideblog like Brenda’s for stuff like this.