simple happiness everyday.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

thankful moments.

It was one of those rare moments. The camera was sitting on the kitchen counter, Slade was on his way out the door to catch the school bus, the girls were eating breakfast and I grabbed the camera and said "smile." I usually never have the camera ready or I always seem to forget it. But, I am getting better. And yesterday morning, I captured their smiles as we all begun our day. I am so thankful for these moments.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

my happy things today.

1. Waking up to these words whispered at my bedside...
"Mommy, i love you."
(from Sia)

2. My morning cappuccino

3. All the beds were made by 8:30 before leaving to take the girls to school

4. I finally found the perfect coverlet for Slade's bed
( and it was 75% off - totally happy!)

5. Volunteering in Elle's preschool class

6. Getting back in touch with an old friend

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

bedtime bus roll.

I am loving this vintage bus roll poster found at MySweetPrints. This sums up my evening completely... every single night!! It couldn't be more perfect. I'm hoping the artist makes more, because right now the print is sold out. I would love to hang it upstairs next to the bedrooms. And then years from now, when this ritual is no longer in existence for us, Jeff and I can look at it and remember how sweet it all truly was.

Monday, January 25, 2010

100th day cookies.

sugar cookies iced, packaged and ready to send into school

Today is the 100th day of school. Slade is in kindergarten this year... so, this marks the 100th day of many more hundreds of days he will attend school. In order to celebrate and mark this milestone in a kindergartner's life, I made giant sugar cookies of the number 100 for his entire class.

And of course, as I was icing and sprinkling sugar, Slade, Elle and Sia wanted to do their own cookie decorating. So, I gave them each a circle cookie to decorate as they wish. Don't they look awesome?? I love all the colors.... so vibrant and yummy!

cookies with lots of icing and sugar
decorated by sia, elle & slade (in that order too)

lazy + weekend = rejuvenation.

elle, slade & sia enjoying a cup of hot cocoa during our lazy weekend

How did you spend your weekend?

We had a extremely lazy weekend. The weather was cool, gray and rainy outside, so we spent time inside doing nothing in particular, just being together. The kids played with lots of legos and games, whereas, I found time to clean and organize some closets and drawers and even baked a little. We ate leftovers and drank lots of hot cocoa and had smores for treats.

I have an extreme love these type of days. Days that you do not have to get dressed or have a schedule to meet. Slade, Elle and Sia feel the same. They love staying in their pajamas all day. Telling them it's a p.j. day, brings them pure contentment.

Truly, I needed a weekend like this. I feel like I've been on a complete merry-go-round since the beginning of the New Year, just spinning around, not really accomplishing much. The past couple of weeks have been filled with lots of "to do's" and schedules, yet what have I achieved? I've been feeling a bit exhausted lately.

I think this weekend was the break I needed to revitalize and re-focus. It gave me moments to play and laugh, to lazily sit around and complete some much needed tasks at home. I feel like I actually achieved something. Some of my closets and drawers have been refreshed and cleaned, my mind is clearer and I feel restored and revitalized for the week ahead.

Friday, January 22, 2010

crayon hearts.

Slade and I gave some new life to some of the broken crayons that have been sitting at the bottom of the bucket. We made translucent hearts out of crayon shavings and wax paper and hung them in our kitchen window. The sunlight shines through the hearts perfectly during the day. The idea came from an old issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine. And, it totally brought back memories of elementary school art projects from years ago. I loved art then, and still love to dive into anything that allows me to be creative.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

a picnic for dinner.

Tonight, I let Slade, Elle and Sia convince me to have an indoor picnic for dinner. Actually, I said yes to the question, before even thinking about it. They were all very excited once they heard that I was in agreement and ran upstairs to begin their preparation. It was one of those moments, that I guess I just let go of normality.

Before I knew it, they all came downstairs in their bathing suits and laid a huge blanket on the kitchen floor. Next they began gathering fruits and cheeses and it was at this point I decided to help. So, I cut up fruit and made peanut butter & jelly sandwiches in the shape of little stars. Slade set out the plates and gave everyone a vanilla yogurt, some grapes and their sandwiches. He put a tray in the center of the blanket with cut up cheese and fruit.

I took such enjoyment in seeing the smiles on their faces as they laughed and talked about what an awesome dinner they were having sitting on a blanket in the middle of the kitchen floor. It was their picnic and they were definitely proud.

These are the moments I will always remember and smile at. Moments that are out of the ordinary. Moments that let them dream and be silly.
Moments that let children be children.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

100 days.

Slade is celebrating 100 days of being in school in his kindergarten class this week. As a tradition, the teacher asked children to make a poster of 100 items so they may see just what 100 of something looks like.

After talking about many things, Slade decided he wanted to use marshmallows. So, he made a poster of a giant cup of hot cocoa and glued 100 marshmallows in the cup. I love his imagination and creativity. He had asked me if he could put real cocoa in the cup on his poster, so after putting a thin layer of glue, he sprinkled it with cocoa. And then, glued the marshmallows on top of that. He sponged blue paint on the background and of course, put a big "S" on the mug that he decided to paint brown.

He was so proud of his finished project. What an amazing smile he had upon its completion. He couldn't wait to take it to school to show his class.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today, Elle and I are going to see Annie at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. I am so excited. Elle has been dancing around and singing Annie songs for the past couple of months. This will be her first theater experience. I hope she enjoys it as much as I did as a little girl.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

pizza night.

For more than a year now, every Friday we have been making pizza. No matter how busy our lives are, it has become a true family ritual in our home. It's a simple family tradition that we've come to enjoy every week, one that we all look forward to after our week of work and school.

I start the dough soon after the kids are all home from school. And while it's rising, I prepare the sauce and we get the toppings ready. The kids enjoy helping with the dough and choosing which toppings we should use. When Jeff is home, he helps with sauteing and grating the cheese. It brings us all in the kitchen, which is one of the places I love to be.

Last night, Slade, Elle and Sia enjoyed a plain pizza and I decided to make one topped with red & yellow roasted peppers and mascarpone cheese. It was a excellent choice of toppings as it was exceptionally

Our family ritual is not complex, but has become one of our favorite times during the week. It is a time we all look forward to. It simply says "home" to us.

Do you have any family rituals? If so, what are they? I would love to hear...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

taking flight. by- kelly rae roberts

My sister gave me this book for my birthday- Taking Flight to give your Creative Spirit Wings by Kelly Rae Roberts. I am so inspired by the author and mixed-media artist that I want to infuse my life with art and creativity. Not only does she share techniques used by her and other contributing artists, but she takes you on a journey of being true to yourself and she provides encouragement and guidance along the way. I am loving this book- Thanks Lisa!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

missing my husband.

I miss my husband. Without him, a part of me is missing. It's hard living 800 miles apart. But, as we both know, this is what we have to do right now. No, not ideal, at all. But, I always continually think of those wives whose husbands are in the service? How do they feel? Their husbands are doing what they need to do for their families and their country, but unlike me, they cannot talk to their husbands every day at any time. I can call Jeff at any time. I can text and get an immediate response. Even use skype to talk and see one another through the Internet. And, we can talk for as long as we wish. If he were in the service, could we do that? And, more importantly, Jeff comes home one weekend a month... I know exactly when I am going to see him again.... or, with a 12 hour drive I can visit him at anytime, so, how fortunate am I??

No, I cannot fall asleep with the comfort of him next to me tonight. Or, wake up next to him in the morning to start my day. It feels lonely and it makes me sad a lot. But, I always remember, what if? What if he were in the service? What if he were here and had no job at all? Where would we be? What would we do? So, this is what we are doing right now at this point in our lives. Communication has been our strength.

Living apart will not last forever. But, Jeff and I are forever. This distance that
separates has made us stronger. And, I cannot be more content and thankful for the wonderful man that I married, who is sacrificing so much for our family.

ten happy moments experienced during the past couple of days.

  1. Jeff received his plane tickets to come home during the first week in February. (only three more weeks!)
  2. Taking the time to simply sit down and color with Slade, Elle and Sia- loved the creativity and listening to them talk amongst one another.
  3. Slade coming off the bus with a huge smile, stating "I got my report card." He had an excellent report card and his teacher commented 'Slade demonstrates enthusiasm and an aptitude for learning.'.... Jeff and I are so proud of him.
  4. A text from my husband saying "I miss you and I love you. Your the best wife a man could ever ask for."
  5. I am finally feeling better after pneumonia and an ear infection.
  6. Elle asked me "Mom, when are we going to Paris?" and then made this statement: "I guess we can go when I am five." It is so Elle to ask...
  7. I completed another New Year's Resolution. I organized my storage areas filled with decorations for the holidays and baby/toddler clothes.
  8. Last night, when I kissed Sia good night she exclaimed "You're the best Mommy ever! I love you and I'm gonna always take care of you."
  9. The gentleness of Slade and his not wanting to ever say goodbye (to anything). He held back tears this week when we took down all the Christmas decorations.
  10. Watching this video about the Invisible Woman from FreshBrewedLife- my father sent it to me. He said it reminded him of me. You might relate to it too.

Monday, January 11, 2010

joy remains.

amazingly, after i was finished with all of the taking down of holiday decor, I noticed these letters were still left up on a shelf...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

the excitement of a snow day.

Amazing. no matter how much your children enjoy school, when there is a snow day, there is a big "yippee!" Early this evening I was made aware that there will be no school tomorrow due to some icy secondary roads in our county. I was a little shocked at the news, but the jumping up and down, not to mention, the smiles on the faces of my two oldest children, Slade and Elle, told me they were quite excited to be spending one more day at home.

I've been so busy during the past few days with home keeping and removing holiday decor that I have hardly taken the time to spend with them as I wish. Now, unexpectedly and quite happily, I am given an entire day to spend with the three of them. A true bonus. These are the moments I need to cherish and take advantage of.

I have to admit that sometimes, I am guilty of worrying too much about how clean the house is or if the laundry and ironing is done, when I need to stop and spend more time with those three smiling faces who exclaimed pure excitement when they were blessed with yet another snow day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

renewal and hope.

Today we are taking down the Christmas decorations. It brings a sense of sadness to me. The house feels empty, stripped of the warmth Christmas brings. I enjoy decorating each room with a little bit of Christmas, so it takes more than a day to take all of it down and put it away. And with each thing I remove, I am reminded of a memory or idea comes to me of what I can put in its place.

But, with the sadness and emptiness, there is a sense of renewal and happiness too. It is a New Year. A year of hope for what is to come. There will be holidays, birthdays and anniversaries to celebrate. A year of school and accomplishments complete. More miles traveled and trips to make. Time spent with distant family and friends. Summer vacations. A new school year will begin. (Elle will ride the school bus and start kindergarten this year!).
There will be surprises and growth for each one of us.

We have so much to be thankful for, so much to hope for. But most of all, this year will bring another
year of simple joys for our family. I am certain of that. Moments we may simply smile at or those we will laugh uncontrollably at, maybe even moments that are so gratifying they bring tears to our eyes.

So, although the house is feeling a bit empty and stark without all the holiday decor, there is warmth here. Our home is filled with lots of brightness
, faith and the love a family shares.

Thank you for a wonderful 2009. And I welcome 2010 with much hope and happiness.

Friday, January 8, 2010

it snowed.

We live in Georgia, so it very rarely ever snows. No, it is nothing like the snowfalls I knew as a child growing up in the north. But, needless to say, school was canceled and my kids couldn't wait to go outside and play in it. It is very cold here, only 12 degrees, so they didn't last long, but I loved seeing their happiness as they ran out the back door to scoop up a handful of snow that did fall.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

finally. a blog of my own.

Finally. I have talked about it for a year or more. But finally, I am posting a blog of my own. It's one of my New Year resolutions for 2010. So, here it is, my blog- it's the place where you'll find joy.

I find there are so many things that make us happy among our busy lives of raising children, being married, taking care of our family and home, not to mention finding a passion for what you love to do. Sometimes, we forget to take note of these things. We continue to go each day, not finding the happiness, focusing on what we don't have and what we need to do. There are so many simple joys. It's what I want to share with you.... the simplest joys I find each day.

What are some of your simple joys?