Sunday, April 20, 2014


Josh and I finished The Book Thief this afternoon and then immediately watched the movie. I cried through the end of the book and then cried again though the movie. That is a lot of crying for one afternoon.

Despite the crying, I actually loved the book. I thought it was beautifully written, it made me think and it made me love books all over again. I liked the movie too, but they left a lot of stuff out. The book is definitely better.

So if you don't mind reading a book that will make you ugly cry for half an hour, I recommend The Book Thief. But seriously, you're going to need a Costco sized tissue box. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Day 17

Easter makes me happy!!



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 16

Ok, first of all, I lied. I took a photo of my iPad screen again. Seriously, this whole project is just going to be one big collage of what's happening on my iPad each day. Lame.

Second, this is a super duper weird subject for a happy day post. Just bear with me here. It might not make sense to you, but it makes sense to me.

Over the past week or so, Josh and I have been reading The Book Thief together. That alone is reason enough for a happy post. I've been having a good time lately reading with Josh. We pick a book, read it at the same time and then we discuss it, and so far we've read books that have been made into movies, so then we see the movie together. That makes me happy for a number of reasons. I love to read, I love sharing my love of books with my kids and I love that Josh is old enough now to read grown up books and  we can read a wider variety of books together. All of those things make me happy.

But today my photo is specifically about The Book Thief. I'm not quite done with it, we'll finish it up today, but I have LOVED this book. But the reason it's a weird subject for a Happy post is that it's a book about WWII Germany, narrated by Death. Yep, Death. (By the way, nothing I have said, or will say, is a spoiler. It's all stuff you can read on the book jacket or at the beginning of the book.) Death is telling the story of a young foster child in Germany during the war and how books change her life and the lives of the people around her. For someone like me, who has a great appreciation for books, I understand her fascination with them. In the book, books were hard to come by for a poor foster girl in that time period, especially since many of them were banned, so the way she comes across them and how they change her is a beautiful story and it was beautifully written.

I appreciate well written phrases. Sometimes when I'm reading I come across a well written description of something or a phrase that is particularly well written and I go back and read it over a few times, just because I like the way it sounds. I just want to let it sink in a little bit. I like the emotion it brings with it or the vivid picture it creates in my head.

This book has done that for me a lot. The further I get into it the more I am just devouring the pages. I like the way it's written, I like the descriptions of things, I like the little asides that Death gives about what it's like to be Death and have to collect all those poor souls during WWII.

I mean, I don't believe in a guy in a black robe with a scythe who comes to collect us when we die (although the Death in in the book claims he doesn't carry a scythe and only wears a black robe when it's cold, lol) but I like the vivid picture of him that the author has painted, and what it is like for him to constantly see death and have to collect the souls of those who pass. When we do think of "death", we tend to think of it as a scary thing, but the book has painted the idea of death as something gentle. Death cares about us and gently carries us away to a safe place. I like the picture that creates for me, especially in a book about WWII, where death was such a horrible gruesome thing.

Because I can kind of be an intense person at times, I don't read things, I ingest them. I don't read a book, I crawl right into the pages and live it. This is a book that has sucked me in for so many
different reasons. It's just a novel, not a true story, but it's based on a real events in world history and reading about how hard it is for the main character to get her hands on a book and how grateful she is for the ones she gets reignited my love of books. I have a whole stack of books I haven't gotten around to reading yet and hundreds more on shelves and in boxes. This book is making me realize how we take things like that for granted. Books are very accessible to me and sometimes I forget what a luxury that is. This book has reminded me to be grateful to live in an age where I can download a new book in two minutes and that the government doesn't tell me what I can and can't read.

It has also reminded me to be grateful for my freedom. I've always had a special interest in WWII history and every time I read a true story or novel based on that time period, it reminds me how lucky we are for our freedom and for the ability to come and go as we please and choose our own paths in life. I think we all take that for granted sometimes.

So today a book about WWII, narrated by Death, made me happy, lol. But what really made me happy was my love of books and the fact that this book reminded me how much I have to be grateful for.

And to add to the oddness of this happy post, I took a photo of a descriptive paragraph in the book that made me go back and read it several times and then read it to Shawn because I liked how it was written. It's Death, talking about what it's like to do the job of collecting souls during a war.

I know, it's in no way happy, but it makes sense to me. (and also, I'm reading the book on my iPad, hence the photo, which I swore to myself I wouldn't do anymore. Tomorrow, I will start tomorrow.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 15

I made homemade mac and cheese tonight. It was not healthy in any sort of way, but it was gooooood. :)

Here's where I got the recipe if you're interested:

I added bacon. Because everything is better with bacon. :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 14

My happy picture today is lame! The happy moment wasn't lame, but I forgot to take a photo of it while it was happening, so instead you get another picture of my phone. That's the third photo of a ipad/iphone screen in the past 14 days. This will be the last one for a while!

So my happy moment today was lunch with a friend. I love this friend because she was kind of an unexpected friend. I have actually known her for a very long time but we didn't become close until a few years ago.

She lives across the street from me. When we moved to this neighborhood, we were the youngest family on the street. Most of the people who live on our street have lived here since their houses were built in the 90's and have older kids. When we moved here we had toddlers, so at first I didn't feel like I had a lot in common with most of the people who were at least 10 years older than us and had teenagers. I didn't make close friends in the neighborhood very quickly. I know a lot of my neighbors from church and they're all great people, but no one that I clicked with as a close friend right away. I was just at a different place in my life at the time than most of the people around us.

So I've known this woman since we moved here, but her kids are a lot older than mine and we're both kind of homebodies, so we didn't really socialize. I think a few years went by before I really even spoke to her.

Then we got to know each other because we were asked to serve in a presidency together at church. She used to give me rides to the meetings we had to go to and we got to know each other and found out we have a lot in common.

Then almost comically we have been following each other around in our church service ever since. We keep getting called to serve in the same church functions. We started spending a lot of time together because of church and our friendship grew.

I really really enjoy her friendship. Because her kids are older than mine, she has life experience I don't have and I enjoy her perspective on raising teenagers and other things that I'm just beginning to experience. I generally have a hard time making female friends, but I really click with her.

We occasionally go out to lunch together just to chat and today was one of those days. Our birthdays are close together and I was going to take her out for her birthday and that didn't work out and then she was going to take me out for my birthday and today we finally got around to having a joint birthday lunch. I really enjoy talking to her, shes easy to talk to and I feel like we "get" each other and I don't always feel that with other women.

So I had a really great time and before I went I told myself to remember to take a picture so I could make it my happy thing for the day, but then I got home and realized that I forgot to do it. I tried to come up with an alternate happy thing that I could take a picture of, but that lunch really was my favorite thing today, so I'm using it anyway. So instead of a photo of the lunch, you get a photo of the invitation to the lunch. Being invited to lunch by a friend makes me happy!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 13

One of my Last Year Of My 30's goals was to be better organized. Organization is something I struggle with. I constantly have a million things going on in my head and I have a hard time focusing on one thing at a time sometimes. Ok, most of the time. :) I start a project and don't finish it because by the time I'm halfway through it my brain has already moved on to something else. I often have to force myself to stick to one thing and see it through. My life has been a long string of unfinished projects, and one of the goals for this year is to go back and finish a few of those unfinished projects.

So I realize that as I've been pondering being better organized, that what I really needed to do was start writing my goals and projects down and keeping better checklists that organize my crazy brain into manageable categories and realistic tasks.

So I turned to my trusty ipad and set up a good calendar and to-do list app to keep me organized. I've been really focusing on it for a couple of weeks and it's working great! I've got all my daily to-do items right there that I can cross off and it's one place to jot down shopping lists, dinner ideas, upcoming activities, etc. There is something satisfying about checking something off a to-do list.

So this morning I looked at my schedule for the day, I got the bills paid, I checked a few things off my list and I just had a nice moment of satisfaction that my life is a bit better organized these days. I'm still working on some bigger organization projects, but just creating a place to write it all down and sort it all down has been nice. I can flip through the folders in the app and see everything I need to work on and it has really helped me see what I need to focus on for that day instead of everything just being a jumbled mess in my brain.

Feeling organized makes me happy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Day 12

Starting over is hard. I made it around the block before the cold air, the crazy amount of pollen in the air right now and the fact that it's been a while since I've been on my bike shut my lungs down and I had to come home.

Starting over is hard. Starting over with my lungs telling me that I'll never be able to do it is frustrating. But being back on my bike, for the few miniutes it didn't feel like it was killing me, felt wonderful and it made me happy. I'll keep trying, that's all I can do.