Choose to Be Happy

Smiley face pancakes with blueberry eyes and strawberry lips for Marley and Jackson

Smiley face pancakes with blueberry eyes and strawberry lips for Marley and Jackson

Life is about choices.  From the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we close our eyes at night, we are faced with hundreds of thousands of choices.  What to wear, what to eat, coffee or tea, and that’s just the first few.  How about choosing how to feel?

Have you ever considered that choosing how you feel could be something you have complete control of?  This is a concept we are working with our children on.  We choose to be happy.  Nothing is strong enough to keep us down.  There may be bumps and bruises that cause us to cry from the initial pain, but in order to move on we choose to get back up again with a smile, laugh, and learn what could have prevented those tears.

Last weekend, I chose to commit myself to myself.  That was not a typo.  I registered and made the first move in fully committing to creating a better me.  Come January 15th I will begin this journey through an intensive self discovery and leadership program that focuses on emotional intelligence.  Hundreds of people travel from all over the country, and the world, to participate in this program.  I fortunately only need to travel about 20 minutes from my front door.  I’ve observed the break through and changes my husband has gone through, and am both nervous and excited to experience my own.

I teased him the other day that he was using words from the program on me.  Our Friday afternoon was a hectic one.  The morning had flown by.  It was noon and we had an hour to get out the door.  That didn’t happen of course.  After scrambling to finish my blog for Halloween, him scrambling to finish commitments he’d started on that morning, we were finally ready to leave.  ?The kids were strapped in the car.  We went over our check list of must haves before driving away and realized we didn’t have Marley’s cane.  The next half hour was spent searching every closet, corner, in and under every bed and couch, combed every inch of the backyard, and couldn’t find it anywhere.  Marley couldn’t remember where she’d put it, and I let my frustrations of me overcommitting to too many events in too short of time come out in this one predicament.  Hubby caught me snapping at Marley, and said, “Back off of Marley.  This is our breakdown.  We shouldn’t take it out on her.”

He was right.

I sulked, sighed, and chose to change my mood.  We got back in the car, and we headed off to our first event for the day.  Even though Marley didn’t have her cane with her.  It was still a successful play date.  We met little Dillon and his parents, all three of whom are blind.  Dillon’s mom and I had arranged the play date so that Marley could show Dillon her cane.  He had recently been given his first cane and doesn’t want to use it.  We met them at their house, and all walked to the park together.  Marley and Jackson showed Dillon’s mom their Halloween costumes by what we call, “Seeing with our hands.”  Jackson was excited to see Dillon’s dad had a cane too since his Daddy doesn’t have one.  Fun was had by all as the kids ran, swung, climbed, hid, and slid, and us grown ups bounced ideas around and made plans for future outings together.

Like I tell my children when they are upset, let’s make a choice on how we will feel for the rest of the day.  Let’s choose to feel happy.

Now, go out and make it a Happy day!

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“The Childfree Life”

The Childfree Life

On a recent Time Magazine cover, there is a controversial photo of a happy couple laying on the beach. Above them it says, “The Childfree Life, when having it all means not having children.”

My husband and I had a lengthy discussion about this yesterday on the way to hang out on the Las Vegas Strip with some friends, who happen to be a child free couple.

At the hotel pool as we happily splashed with our kids, there were plenty of child free couples laying on the loungers reading or sipping cocktails. It made me wonder, who really is the happier couple?

While I’d rather not be woken up in the middle of the night by my daughter’s screams caused by her night terrors, and this morning while both kids emptied everything from my DoTerra lavender oil, band aids, Neosporin, and all the rest of the contents of my first aid bag onto themselves because they were playing doctor. I still wouldn’t trade this life for a million trillion dollars.

What are some of your thoughts on this photo?

30 Days of Thankfulness; Day 8

November 8, 2012

I am thankful for two very happy healthy children.

Just the other night I read an article about sixteen year old Esther Earl, who died of thyroid cancer.  Even though it’s been 2 years since Esther died, her story is still inspiring people and raising money.  I finished that article with an ache in my heart and tears in my eyes.  To be Esther’s parents, or all the other parents with children who develop cancer, is a role I hope to never have to play.

Here are just a few numbers to think about;

I promise to cherish each and every giggle, scraped knee, tear, tantrum, food fight, hug, kiss, snuggle, and each and every, “I love you Mama” with every bit of my heart.

How I Went From Being Depressed and Feeling Isolated, to Being Productive and Feeling Empowered. Part 2

So how did I manage to get myself out of that funk?  I joined my first mommy meet up group.  My daughter had just turned 9 months and she needed to learn how to socialize with other babies, and her mama desperately needed some mommy friends.  Image

I was very nervous before my first meet up.  It was almost like I was the new student all over again in high school.  What were these women going to be like?  Will they like me?  Will I like them?  What will they think of me?

I was meeting a few other moms at Child’s Play, an indoor play gym, located about 12 miles away.  I sent the organizer of the group an email letting her know that I wouldn’t be able to find her in a crowd, and let her know what I would be wearing so that she could look for me.  My husband dropped us off and said to call him when I was done.  I’m pretty sure he stood outside and watched us for a few minutes to make sure I wasn’t meeting some crazy psycho moms.  My daughter and I proceeded to play by ourselves.  No one came up looking for me.  There were a few other children about her age, and I started talking to their moms.  It wasn’t until we were getting ready to leave when the organizer of the group showed up.  She was very nice, so the fact that she was an hour late didn’t bother me much.

I joined a few other meet up groups, but I was often faced with the problem of not having transportation.  This is when I began to open up my house and host weekly play dates.  we turned our front room into a play room and had about 6 – 10 mom and their kids over once a week.

I soon had a great group of mommy friends and my daughter had lots of other kids around her age to play with.  A few of the women lived in our neighborhood and often offered us a ride to play dates.

I was now starting to feel like my old self, no longer feeling depressed or isolated.  I had fun meeting new mommies going through the same things I was going through.  I was looking forward to planning events, parties, and going out with the ladies for our mom’s night outs.

All of a sudden, that original mommy group I joined had over 100 members and I had only personally met about 20 or so moms.  It made me a little nervous that there were so many people out there knowing what we were doing and when we were doing it.  So this is the reason I decided to start my own group.

Southern Highlands Moms, Babies, and Tots is meant to bring together both working and stay at home moms who live in or near our small community.  We are all moms going through the same things and can often use a girlfriend to talk to , cry on, and laugh with.  We don’t just meet for play dates.  We have family BBQ’s, attend each others’ children’s birthday parties, and have the occasional well deserved mom’s night out.  The goal of the group is to connect moms with each other, and build friendships for ourselves, our children, and our families.


To those working moms out there who are reading this and thinking, so this is it?  She’s happy and feeling productive because she’s planning a few play dates and going out for the occasional drink with her mommy friends? That’s not at all what I’m trying to say.

What has changed, is the fact that I feel like I belong again.  I realized that my passion and purpose in life are my children.  I am there for them every waking and sleeping minute.  Every conscious and subconscious decision is made with them in mind.

I have found the meaning of life and have chosen to share it with the world.