Saturday, May 31, 2014

Day 58

This is me, in bed, at the end of a long day. It's been a very long week, actually. Sometimes there's nothing that makes me happier than crawling into bed at the end of the day. Goodnight. :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Day 57

My house is currently full of teenagers. We're hosting an i48 team for the second year in a row. I48 is a local film festival that they do in our city every year. People make teams and at 6pm this evening they gave each team a packet that gives them their assigned film genre, a phrase they have to use, a prop they have to use, and a few other rules, and then everyone has 48 hours to write a script, film it, edit it and turn it in. Then next weekend there is a film festival and they show all the films and award the winners.

Josh's middle school film club teams up very year and participates. We offered to host their brainstorming session last year, and they actually ended up filming their movie at our house. We had so much fun with it last year that we offered to host it again. Their genre this year is action crime. So there are a dozen teenagers in my dining room right now brainstorming ideas for a movie and writing a script and tomorrow morning they'll meet back up to film it.

That's my actual happy thing for today. I like having my house full of kids. I like being able to do this for Josh.

So I was going to sneak by and take a picture of everyone brainstorming but when I got in there I realized that it would look super dorky to take a picture and Josh would be embarrassed by his dorky mom, so I refrained.

So instead you get my other happy thing of the day. Clarissa brought me this picture that she drew this morning and I love it! She said it's a dinosaur. She draws the best pictures! Every one of them makes me smile. :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Day 56

This is a photo of an industrial sized fan being removed from my house. And it makes me SO FREAKIN' HAPPY. I may or may not have discreetly given it a middle finger salute as it exited.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Day 55

It's an oh crap moment. I was almost asleep and remembered that I forgot to take a picture today. So you get a classic photo instead.

My family makes me happy every single day. 

Basement update

So it's just been a long, sucky week and it's only Wednesday. Our basement is still torn apart and there are still big industrial fans down there trying to dry it out. It's like a jet engine in our basement. You can hear it two floors up. It's not awesome.

The restoration company we used to dry it out has been super extra crappy to work with. Like so amazingly crappy that I want to cry every time the phone rings and it's them. They're rude, they look at me like I'm speaking French when I ask them a question and they're just generally completely unhelpful. I would tell them to pack up and get the heck out of here, but I have no idea who else to call and we'd have to start all over, and I just can't start all over. I just want this done.

I did decide that they're so supremely crappy that I don't want them replacing the carpet though, so as soon as everything is dried out (which was supposed to be today, but now they're thinking maybe tomorrow. Or, you know, whenever. Whatever. They don't care.) we're getting them out of here and I spend today lining up someone else to replace the pad and lay the carpet back down.

I stumbled upon a bit of luck today, or at least a kind soul. I called the people who installed the carpet originally in December and the lady who helped us pick out the carpet put me in touch with the actual guy who installed it and she told him to go ahead and do it as a side job because it will be cheaper for us than if it goes through their business. I wanted to hug her over the phone. We're trying not to use our homeowners insurance for this because while it's expensive, it's not expensive enough to ding our insurance unless we absolutely have to because I'm afraid of our rates going up. No actual carpet has to be replaced, just the pad. But the stupid fans that I'm so tired of are costing us a fortune each day they're here. I want them out. Like, yesterday.

So hopefully tomorrow they'll be out and I can get the carpet guy in here to figure out how much pad he needs to bring in and schedule a time to lay it back down and get everything put back together. I'm so over this it's ridiculous.

Speaking of people who are over things I've got cranky teenager with sore teeth moping around my house today. Poor Josh is miserable with the new braces. His teeth are really sore and he can't eat anything. We made a list of soft foods to get for him, but applesauce and pudding get old really quick, and a hungry teenager with sore teeth is not a happy camper. I hope that it starts to feel better soon. He has a week of school left and he's so busy with finals and end of the year projects and things that the added stress of not being able to eat anything isn't helping matters.

In better news, Matthew had his first piano lesson and loved it. I just love the sound of the piano being played in my house. I've wanted a piano for so long that every time I hear it it makes me happy. My house has a piano! It just reminds me of my childhood. The piano was always being played in my house when I was a kid. Even if it's just a kid banging around on it, it's a sound that makes me happy.

So that's how my week is going. It's mostly been full of loud fans and multiple discussions on the water content of drywall. With some teenage moping thrown in for good measure. But with a little bit of happy piano music. And pie. There was really amazing pie.

But I'm just plugging along. This too shall pass, right?

I'll be back in a bit with a happy thing. I have to go find one first, lol.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Happiness is a pity pie :)

Since yesterday was filled with so much suckage and water logged basement, it's only fair that I balance it out with two happy posts today, right?

I called a friend earlier to whine about my basement and she was nice enough to let me whine for a while, because she's awesome like that. And then I just got a knock on my door and there she was with a pie. A pity pie, she called it, lol. Sometimes when life gets crappy you just need someone to make you a pity pie. And today, I needed a pity pie really bad!

Only an amazing friend would make an "I'm sorry your basement sucks" pity pie. Today I am so grateful for that amazing friend that I'm posting a photo of my pity pie. So while I am sitting here listening to the fans attempt to dry out my basement, I will eat my pity pie and be grateful that even if my basement currently sucks, my friends rock. And that's pretty awesome. :)

Day 54

After an awesome night relaxing at the hotel we got back to reality this morning and got Josh over to the orthodontist to get his braces on. They just did the top ones today and he'll get the bottom ones on in a couple of months. He's not thrilled about them and his mouth is sore, but I keep assuring him that someday he'll be glad he went through this.

Then I took him out to lunch to celebrate (I don't think he would say celebrating is exactly the right word, lol). We ate pasta, which was soft and sore teeth friendly.

He's not loving the braces, but I think he looks awesome, and having lunch with him made me happy. :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Day 53

After a super crappy day full of torn out carpet and really loud obnoxious fans that will be drying our basement out for a few days, we finally said screw it, packed a bag, and the White's are chillin' at a hotel. We needed out of the house. The hotel is like three miles from our house and it feels like a blissful vacation. We swam at the pool, we ate chocolate chip cookies, ordered pizza and had a marathon of The Middle.  I needed this reeeally bad.

Oh, also, shortly after I made my post about having a crappy day, Matthew ran into the room and announced that the loose tooth he has been trying to get out for weeks finally came out and he accidentally swallowed it, which made us laugh, and then Clarissa announced that when she grows up she wants to be the Tooth Fairy, which was super adorable. It made me realize that it's hard to have a bad day with my kids around.

Tomorrow morning real life starts again and I have to get Josh to the orthodontist to get his braces on and deal with the house, but tonight I'm having a great time hanging out with my family and enjoying my little escape from reality. My really crappy day turned into a pretty great night! :)


Remember that awesome basement TV room we just barely put together? Like, not even six months ago? Yeah, it's currently being torn up after we woke up this morning to find the carpet soaking wet. We think we have a broken hose bib that leaked, but it's a holiday and we can't get a plumber in here to figure it out.

I'm seriously so stressed out right now I can barely function. Tomorrow I have to go in to the orthodontist and discuss paying for braces for two kids, Matthew has surgery coming up, I have a crown that still needs to be done and now we have a cleaning and restoration company here tearing our basement apart and we're trying to find a plumber on a holiday. Anyone else want money? Apparently I'm just passing out thousands of dollars around here for kicks. It's not awesome. :/

This is not how we planned to spend our day today. We planned a picnic and something fun out in the sun. Instead we're sitting in the house watching our brand new carpet being torn out.

Ugh. I'm trying really hard to find the happy and stay upbeat and push through it all, but some days that's hard to do. Sometimes I just want to crawl back into bed and give up on this whole responsible adult business. Lately it just feels like things have been piling on me and I'm trying to tread water and keep up, and most days I succeed, but today...not so much.

I will come back later with a happy thing. Right now I would like to take a break from adulthood for a while. That should be like, a thing. Like calling in sick to work. I would like to call in sick of being a responsible adult. Tomorrow I will happily be an adult again, but today I would like someone else to be in charge for a while. Why isn't that a thing?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Day 52

OK, I'm cheating a bit today. Today I'm not sharing a picture, I'm sharing a video instead. I'm in love with this silly Sesame Street video! I've had this song in my head for two days. I know it's just a cheesy Sesame Street video but it has a good message. Sometimes you have to put the screen down and enjoy the sunshine! That reminder makes me happy! :)


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day 51

Today was a beautiful day and we took advantage of it. Our yard has a ton of landscaped areas. Too many, to be honest, but they were here when we moved here and we've tried our best to maintain all the bushes and trees.

But there is one spot in our front yard that has really needed our attention. There used to be some plants there but they weren't doing well and we took them out at some point and it has been a bare spot for a few years. I've been wanting to plant some flowers there and give it some color, but I just haven't gotten around to it.

But today was the day. It was beautiful outside and I decided it deserved a trip to Lowes for some plants. I really don't have a green thumb. When it comes to gardening, I really don't know what I'm doing. I usually just grab whatever looks pretty, stick it in the ground and hope it grows. I tried to put a little more thought into it this time, but it's hard! The problem is the area we were trying to fill is shaded most of the day because it's under some big trees. Trying to find flowering plants that don't require full sun is tricky. Everything I liked needed more sun than the area has available. That left me with not a lot to choose from and sort of threw the plans I had out the window. So I feel like I just ended up grabbing whatever shade plants looked pretty without any sort of plan, and that's exactly what I was trying not to do. It was like picking paint for my basement all over again, lol.

Anyway, we got them home and got everything planted. I don't know if I totally love it. The problem is that right now everything is small. When it all grows in a bit I think it will look pretty but right now I feel like it just looks like some randomly placed flowers. We planted some ground cover that will spread and look nice, but right now it's patchy, and we planted hydrangeas, which I love and will get fairly big, but right now they're small. Oh, and we found a type of hydrangea called Clarissa! We bought it just because how could we not with that name. :)

So I'm hoping that after everything has a chance to grow a bit it will start to look nice. I don't know, at least it's not bare anymore!

I took a photo of the before and I took a photo after we bought the plants, but stupidly did not take an after photo after we planted them. After we got them planted I came in the house and took a shower and by the time I remember that I needed to go out and take a picture it was dark. I'll take one when everything starts to grow. It's not really much to look at yet.

I might not have the best green thumb, but flowers make me happy and planting them in my yard made me very happy!

Friday, May 23, 2014


Look at me, I've made it 50 days in a row! Be honest, you thought I'd give up by day 15. :)

Today my happy is that I made it 50 days and I'm still going strong on my goal. I think this is a project that everyone should try. It really has made a difference in my life. Looking for all the happy things in my day is becoming a habit and I hope it's something that sticks with me long after the project is over. And even though some days it's a struggle to take a photo of my happy things because not everything happy thing can be photographed, I find that I'm seeing more and more happy things in my life each day. I find myself taking time to stop and appreciate the little things in my life that make me smile.

Day 50 makes me happy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Day 49

This morning was Clarissa's preschool graduation. It was a bittersweet day. Clarissa is so excited to be moving on to Kindergarten and going to the "big kid" school, but saying goodbye to preschool was sad. It was the end of an era for us. I walked out of there today knowing that I will never be walking back in those doors with a preschooler again. I hate endings and goodbyes.

But I'm incredibly grateful for the wonderful teachers there who have loved and nurtured my children over the years. The teacher Josh and Matthew had when they were three is now the director there and she still asks about them and is thrilled when they visit. It's like a family there, and I'll miss it.

So as hard as it was to say goodbye and close that chapter of our lives, it made me happy to go in there today and tell those wonderful teachers thank you for all they have done and see my sweet Clarissa up there getting her graduation certificate. She has grown up so much since we first walked in those doors at two years old. She's a big girl now, which she reminds me daily. :) I'm grateful for a wonderful preschool and amazing teachers who bless my children's lives.







Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Day 48

So Clarissa woke up this morning perfectly fine and healthy. After clearly being sick last night she was suddenly quite the opposite this morning. Weird, but what a relief. My week can commence as planned. I don't know what the heck happened yesterday but she was happy as a clam today.

So today everyone had dentist appointments and tomorrow morning is preschool graduation. We've had our kids at that preschool for nine years (six in a row, then a break and then three more with Clarissa) and tomorrow we say goodbye for the last time. I'm sad about that. I thought I was totally over preschool, but it turns out that I'm sad to say goodbye to it. It feels like a closed chapter and I hate it when things end. I have closure issues.

But we have lots of new beginnings coming up and that's fun to look forward to. So many things are changing around me right now. The kids are all saying goodbye to their schools and preparing to move up to new schools next year, my mom and stepdad are packing their house and preparing to leave the country for the next year and a half, Shawn's pharmacy is preparing to move to a new location, Josh gets his braces on next week, and Matthew in the summer...the changes just keep happening.

Change is a good thing but I'm finding so much of it at once a little overwhelming. A lot of stuff is coming at me right now and I'm just tying to absorb it all and embrace the change.

One new change that I am embracing is the new piano. It turns out that Matthew LOVES the new piano. All three kids have enjoyed playing around on it, but Matthew just can't get enough of it. I found him a few piano related iPad apps that have taught him some basic beginner piano skills and he plans his whole days around when he gets to sit down and practice. He races through his homework in the afternoon so he can play the piano.

So I decided to go with it and sign him up for piano lessons. It turns out that the teenage boy who lives next door to us teaches lessons to a few neighborhood kids. We've known him for years, they go to our church, and he's a great kid. He's been playing the piano for many years. He graduates high school next week and will only be around for the summer before he leaves home to do missionary work for our church, but he'll be teaching lessons until he leaves.

That works out great because it will be enough of an introduction for Matthew to decide if he really likes it and wants to continue. At the end of the summer if the novelty has worn off and he loses interest, that's fine, but if he really likes it I'll find him another teacher after the next door neighbor leaves and we'll keep it going.

So Tuesday he starts piano lessons! It's right next door, so it will be really easy for him to just run over there, so it works out great. He's really excited.

I have a lead on a teacher for myself as well, but I need to wait until all the end of the school year craziness is over before I can really focus on it. In a couple of weeks I'll be ready to focus on it and get started. I'm really excited! I've been practicing every day with the books that came with the piano. I have a really long way to go before I'll really be playing anything, but it has been fun to play around and start getting used to the piano. We love it so far.

So today my happy thing is Matthew playing the piano. He has been playing by ear a little bit and I get a smile on my face every time I hear a recognizable tune coming from the living room. I'm excited for him to start lessons and see where it takes him!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Day 47

Ugh, what a day. 

May is always a crazy busy month around here. All of the end of the school year stuff keeps us super busy this time of the year. All three kids have end of the year projects and tests and presentations and parties and field trips and just a million things that I'm trying to juggle. Add in the fact that for some reason I scheduled several doctors appointments and Josh's braces for this month and everything is just completely insane right now.

And the in the middle of it, everyone got sick. I was super sick a couple of weeks ago and it took me forever to get over it. Then as soon as I got over it, Josh got sick. We're on week two of it and he finally went back to school today. I thought the sickness was over. It's not. 

This morning Clarissa had a preschool picnic. Thursday is preschool graduation, so today was their last real class. So we packed up our picnic stuff and went over there and had a fun time. 

We got home and by early afternoon she was acting really tired. I figured it was just from running around all morning at the picnic.

This afternoon she had her final ballet class, along with a little recital. I had to have her over there at 4:15. She was dragging her feet getting ready when at 3:50 I got a call from the orthodontist asking me if I remembered that Josh had appointment at 3:30 to get his spacers on. Craaaaaap!! I completely forgot. It had to be done today because he's scheduled to get braces on next week and if we miss this appointment we have to reschedule everything and that's a whole other mess.

So I told them we would be right there, I grabbed Clarissa's ballet stuff, we got stuck in traffic, it was a whole mess, I finally got Josh to the orthodontist, dropped him off, dropped Clarissa at ballet, got stuck in traffic again, picked Matthew up at the bus stop, got stuck in traffic again, got back over to the orthodontist to pick up Josh, got stuck in traffic again and made it back just in time to watch Clarissa's ballet recital. It was insane. 

Then I got everyone home and had to run out the door again because I had a dinner planned with some church friends. 

I got home from dinner and Shawn informed me that Clarissa is sick. After ballet she fell asleep on the couch and woke up with a fever. Craaaap.

I seriously have about fifty places I need to be this week. Tomorrow the kids have dentist appointments, Clarissa has preschool graduation in Thursday...this is the worst week ever for her to be sick. And if she has the same thing Josh and I had, she's going to be sick for quite a while. 

So I'm kind of frazzled and exhausted and poor Clarissa is miserable. We've been cuddling this evening, she's not in a good mood at all. I'm afraid I'm going to have to end up canceling everything this week to stay home and get her better. She'll be super sad if she misses preschool graduation and her last chance to say goodbye to her teacher. Such a bummer. 

So today was not the greatest day around here. 

In the interest of looking on the bright side and finding the happy, there were some happy moments. The preschool picnic was fun. Clarissa's ballet recital was adorable. The dinner with friends was really fun. In the middle of all the chaos today I did have some fun.

And also, the weather was beautiful today. This morning at the picnic the sky was blue and sitting in the grass watching Clarissa run and play made me happy. I took a picture of the blue sky and the pretty tree above me to remind myself of how happy I felt sitting in the grass on a sunny day. In the midst of a crazy day, I'm grateful for those little moments of happiness. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Day 46

We had such a fun night! It's a tradition with two families we're friends with to have an Amazing Race premiere and finale party. We always used to do them at one of the other family's houses but since we got our basement TV room done we've been doing them here.

Tonight was our finale party. We had pizza and brownies and all piled into our TV room to watch the final episode. The finale was awesome, probably one of my favorites ever, so we had a great time watching it. It was so much fun!

I love these people. We don't have a huge social circle, but these friends are like family to me. We always have such a good time together! Today a party with friends made me happy.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Day 45

Today church made me happy. :)


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Day 44

I have a super exciting happy today! We bought a piano!

When I was a kid I took piano lessons. My mom is quite musical and is great on the piano and she wanted her kids to be piano players too, so she tried for years to get me to learn. I was a stubborn kid and really had no interest. I loved to play around on the piano but I didn't love taking lessons. Eventually I convinced my mom to let me quit and she told me that one day I would regret not learning how to play the piano.

And guess what? I became an adult who regrets that I never learned to play the piano. I have wished for years that I could play. That's the mom lecture I give my kids whenever they want to quit something. They've heard my piano regret story a million times.

Over the years I have talked about getting a piano and taking lessons but it just never happened. Pianos are expensive and I just always had other things that were more of a priority.

But part of my whole "before I turn 40" thing was to finally accomplish some goals that I had set for myself and never followed through on. So one of the goals I set for myself this year was to buy a piano and take piano lessons before I turn 40.

So I have been saving up money in a special piano fund account and I've been keeping an eye on Craigslist for used pianos. And today was the day. We found one that was reasonably priced and in decent shape and we decided to go for it.

It was a bit of work to figure out how to get it here. We don't have a truck and pianos weigh about a million pounds. Moving one is major work. Fortunately we have some church friends with a trailer and strong football player sons who were kind enough to help us move it.

So long story short, we are now the proud owners of a piano!!!

It took about five seconds for the kids to start playing with it. Matthew brought down his recorder and played When The Saints Go Marching In while Clarissa banged on the piano keys to accompany him. Then Matthew played the piano while Clarissa danced. It made me smile to see them have so much fun with it. I have a feeling that our house is about to become much noisier. :)

So as soon as the kids are out of school I'm going to find a teacher and take piano lessons. I'm determined to finally erase the regret I've carried all these years and finally learn to play the piano. And I'm ridiculously excited about it!!

So today a new piano made me happy. I took some quick cellphone photos of it. It's not in the exact right spot yet. It needs to be scooted over to be centered in the wall and pushed back a little. I need to move it where I want it (seriously, it weighs a gazillion pounds) and then I think I'll get out my real camera and take some better pictures. But these will have to do for now.

I have a piano!! :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 43

Shawn and Matthew are at a church campout tonight. Josh was supposed to go with them, but he's still not feeling very well so he decided to stay home. We ordered pizza and had a movie night planned, but he took cold medicine and fell asleep super early, so it ended up being a boring night around here.

So it ended up just kind of being me and Clarissa. When I put her to bed tonight it amused me, as it always does, how many stuffed animals she sleeps with. She calls them her friends. Every night at bed time we tell her to go find her friends and she gathers up a pile of stuffed animals to sleep in her bed with her. They all have names and every now and then she announcers that it's one of their birthdays. I love tucking her in at night with all of her friends. 

Another thing I love is singing a song to her before she goes to sleep. Shawn and I have different routines when it comes to putting her to bed. When he puts her to bed he reads her a story, or they have some sort of routine going where he makes up a story and it has gotten sillier and sillier over the years. 

But when I put her to bed she requests a song instead. She picks the song, it's usually either a Disney Princess song, Part of Your World from Aladdin is a popular one, or the Anna Kendrick cup song. She is obsessed with that song! 

There's something I love about putting my kids to bed when they're little. Josh and Matthew are obviously too old to be tucked in now, but I do enjoy getting Clarissa snuggled in her bed with all her friends and singing to her. I'll miss that when she's too old for it.

So tonight that's what made me happy and I took a picture so I would remember how much I enjoy her at this age. How can you not love that sweet face!


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Day 42

I didn't wait until bedtime today! Woohoo! :)

So Josh was sick for a couple of days this week. I think he caught what I just got over. He went back to school today, but he was home for two days earlier in the week. 

And while I had his undivided attention for two days and he wasn't feeling well enough to do anything but lay on the couch, I declared a retro TV marathon. If there is one thing that I LOVE, it is sharing movies and TV from my generation with my kids. I get super excited about it and make a whole big deal about it. Sometimes they love it, and sometimes not, but they're usually good sports and will indulge me in some nostalgia. We've had Back To The Future marathons, a Goonies viewing party, a Wonder Years marathon...I'm always finding an old movie or TV show to share with my kids.

Since Josh is the oldest, I get to do most of it with him, because I let him see things I don't let the younger ones watch yet. I have loved it as Josh has gotten older and is finally old enough to watch some of the shows and movies I love. We have recently watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Better Off Dead, Can't Buy Me Love, and a whole slew of other classic movies that I love. I'm excited that I get to do it again in a few years with Matthew and again with Clarissa, who will even be more fun because she'll like all the girly movies the boys won't care about. We are SO having a Pretty In Pink party! :) 

Anyway, the marathon we chose for Josh's sick days wasn't nearly as retro as some of the others that we've seen, but it felt retro. It was Freaks and Geeks. I LOVE Freaks and Geeks. It sadly only went 18 episodes before getting cancelled, but it's 18 episodes of awesomeness and it was the perfect way to fill a couple of sick days. So we spent two days marathoning the whole 18 episodes. Well, actually, we finished 17 while he was sick. We couldn't get the last one in yesterday, so we finished it today. After school today we immediately sat down and watched the last episode. 

He loved it and I finally have someone to discuss it's awesomeness with! We mourned together over the fact that they left us with a cliffhanger that will never be resolved. Will Daniel become a geek? Will Lindsey be grounded forever for running off with Kim? We'll never know. Sad. 

But it was awesome while it lasted and bonding with my kids over cheesy retro TV is super fun. Watching the last episode today with Josh was fun, and it made me super happy. So after we finished the final episode together, we took a cellphone selfie together to commemorate the occasion. :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 41

It's bedtime again. Some days this project is more difficult than others. I have happy moments every day, but taking a photo in the moment is tricker than it sounds sometimes.

So to be honest, I'm cheating today. I didn't take this photo today, but I took it recently. It's my cats. I may not have taken this photo today, but my cats make me happy every day. I'm an animal person, I need animals around me. I would have a zoo at my house if Shawn wasn't here to make sure I don't go crazy at the animal shelter, lol. Two pets at a time is our realistic limit at this point in our lives, and I know that, even though I'm convinced that we need a dog. Shawn often reminds me of all the reasons we do not need a dog. I still want a dog. He will roll his eyes and laugh when he reads this.

But I love animals, and I'm definitely a cat person. Our cats are like family members. I honestly can't even imagine life without pets. They make me happy on a daily basis. Max, our orange cat, is super sweet and snuggles with me at night, and Penny, the Siamese, is super playful and thinks she's a dog, lol. She has a fuzzy toy mouse on a leather cord that she drags around the house all day and she drops it at our feet and looks up at us with her sad little kitty eyes, begging for someone to play with her. And we do, because who can resist sad little kitty eyes?

So there you go, my cats make me happy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Day 40

I'm having one of those "crap, it's bedtime and I forgot to do a happy post" moments.

My day wasn't super remarkable. There were a few notable happy moments though. I was able to help a friend out by giving her something she desperately needed and I didn't need anymore. I love it when I can pass something along to a friend.  Shawn took the kids on a bike ride this evening. I didn't go with them for asthma reasons, but it was the first bike ride of the spring for the kids and that made me happy. Shawn got everyone's tires pumped up and all the bikes ready for the summer, and that was a happy moment. I'm happy that bike riding season is here again. I'm dealing with the asthma issues and I will be back on my bike soon.

Matthew had his best friend over this afternoon and those to are hilarious together. Two peas in a pod. I love it. He also finished another book tonight and he was super excited about that. His excitement is contagious.

I took a photo of none of those things though. So I was just sitting here panicking about what to blog about and then I looked over and saw my lavender lotion sitting on the night stand. I put it on and inhaled deeply. The smell of lavender is one of my favorite things. It's calming. I have all sorts of lavender scented things. The smell of lavender definitely makes me happy.

So I took a super duper crappy cell phone photo of the lotion bottle. Seriously, I didn't even attempt to take a decent photo. It's bedtime and all the lavender inhaling has made me too sleepy to care. :) That's a good thing, actually.

And with that, I'm off to sleep. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

I just remembered...

The other day someone made a comment in my nail polish post asking about how to recover from damaged nails. I was going to answer and totally forgot. I really do read and enjoy the comments I get, I'm just super flighty sometimes and forget to reply.

So because I've gotten this question a few times, here are my go-to products for healthy nails.

First, Rejuvacoat. This is how I grew my nails in the first place. It's a clear polish that you apply once a day and it strengthens weak or damaged nails. It works!

A decent substitute for that is OPI Nail Envy.

For damaged cuticles, you need to keep your hands moisturized and rub some sort of oil or cuticle cream on your nails a few times a day. My go-to product is The Naked Bee Cuticle Salve. I love that stuff. I used to have horrible cuticles and now they look great.

There are lots of things that probably work well though. Vitamin E oil, coconut oil, shea butter, etc. Anything moisturizing. Just keep your hands and nails moisturized.

Also, make sure to push your cuticles back on a regular basis, but do NOT trim them. If you have excess cuticle skin, use a product like Sally Hansen cuticle remover. It works awesome.

To make your nails grow, consider a biotin supplement. I started taking a multi-vitamin a couple of years ago with biotin in it and my hair and nails started to grow like crazy. It works!

And lastly, this is just all my trial and error opinion. I'm clearly not trained to give any sort of professional advice, all I know is what has worked for me.

And there you go! :)

Day 39

There are two things that Clarissa is really into lately. Playdoh and Peppa Pig. Today those two loves combined. She was super excited to show me the Peppa Pig she made out of Playdoh! She's quite an artist, I think we have a future sculptor on our hands. :)

Today a Playdoh pig made me happy!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Day 38

Being a mom makes me happy!!

Happy Mother's Day! :)


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Day 37

Pretty nails make me happy!


Friday, May 9, 2014

Day 36

My mom and stepdad came into town yesterday for a short visit. We had dinner with them last night and then this morning I got everyone off to school and work and I treated my mom to a pedicure for Mother's Day and then we went out for lunch. It was super fun! They weren't here very long, they have already gone home, but I enjoy the time I get to spend with my mom. Today a mother daughter pedicure made me happy!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Day 35

Matthew had the Pinewood Derby tonight for scouts. As usual, our car did not do so great in the race, but Matthew made an awesome Minecraft car and had a great time, and that made me happy!

(The marker on his face was part of some Scout tradition. I don't get it either.:))

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 34

I spent the entire day doing laundry and organizing everyone's clothes. Clean laundry makes me happy!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Day 33

Green trees on my street after such a long winter makes me SO happy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Day 32

Ok, I had my morning meltdown, tears may have been shed, but I'm good now! The birthday boy came home from school this afternoon and consented to the mamarazzi taking some birthday photos. Can you even stand how awesome this kid is? I can not. :) Happy birthday, sweet boy. Don't grow up too fast.








14 years

Well, it's official, today I have been a mother for 14 years. Fourteen years!! Where did the time go? I'm going to come back later today with my daily happy post about Josh's birthday, but this post is just me trying to figure out how in the world fourteen years have gone by in the blink of an eye, lol.

I'm super excited about Josh's birthday today, like I always am about birthdays, but this one is hitting me hard today for some reason. You would think 13 would be harder. It's the official introduction into teenagehood and all that. But for some reason 14 has been harder. Maybe each birthday he has will from now on will be harder because it means he's that much closer to leaving home. When your kids are little you think you have a million years until they go off to college and get married and have a life of their own. Even when he was thirteen it still felt like a long way away.

But I don't know. Fourteen. Maybe it's because I recently registered him for high school that is making his exit from the house seem that much more imminent. All of a sudden I'm seeing him getting his drivers license soon, starting to really date, becoming this grown up person and then leaving the nest. Because of his advanced high school, he starts taking college classes in two years!! And I'm not going to lie, it's making me panic a bit!!

Because my kids are spaced so far apart I tend to go though all these things one at a time. Matthew and Clarissa's birthdays don't freak me out yet. They're still stuck with me for a while, thank goodness, lol. But I don't know. Fourteen feels like one foot out the door. And I want that foot right back in here where it belongs! :)

This change has been sudden and strange for me. Because high school graduation time is rolling around soon, I've been seeing a lot of friends on Facebook post things about their kids who are graduating, prom pictures, college acceptance letters, senior trips, etc. It's really no different than what I see every year on Facebook around this time. But for some reason, this year it has hit me, that, wait...that's going to happen to US! I don't get to keep these kids safe and sound in our happy house forever and ever. One of these days I have to send them off into the world! Why did no one mention that to me when I had babies?! Lol

In four short years I'm going to be the one posting graduation pictures and prom pictures and college acceptance letters. You know how long Clarissa's has been home with us? Four and a half years! Four and a half years flew by like five minutes.

Breathe, Wendy, breathe. :)

Whew. Ok. So my kid turned 14 today. And I'm totally cool with that. You know, whatevs.

Please make the next four years move by slowly.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Day 31

Wrapping birthday presents makes me happy! (Josh turns 14 tomorrow!!)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Day 30

Remember when you were a kid and it was so much fun to sing into a moving fan? I've had a fan in our bedroom for the past few days and Clarissa runs in here every chance she gets to sing loudly into it and listen to the sound vibrate. And every time she does it she giggles like it's the greatest trick in the world. This evening I found her doing it again and it made me smile. She is the happiest kid, she just goes through life with a grin on her face and it makes me happy every single day. :)


Friday, May 2, 2014

Day 29

Matthew had a field trip today and spent the afternoon out in the sun. He came home from school and his awesome freckles were out in full force! Matthew gets his freckles from me. When I was a kid I practically lived outside in the summer and after a day in the sun my freckles would be super prominent. I used to hate them when I was a kid, but I absolutely adore Matthew's. They fade a bit in the winter, but as soon as the sun comes out, out come the freckles. I love that it's something I share with him, and I love how cute they look sprinkled across his nose. He'll probably read this blog someday and hate that I said that. Sorry Matthew. :) But seriously, those freckles, and the awesome 10 year old boy they belong to, make me happy!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Day 28

Josh is taking a class at school called Personal Finance and Careers and each student is required to bring in a guest speaker at some point during the semester to talk about their career. Today was Shawn's turn to go in and do a presentation on being a pharmacist.

Shawn works in a long term care pharmacy and they have contracts with care facilities and a lot of what they do is blister packing medications for the care centers. They put the medications in little pop out cards because it's easier for the care centers to distribute to their patients.

So as part of his presentation today, he had each kid bubble pack a card of M&M's. Apparently it was a big hit. 

He came home with a few extra so he let Matthew and Clarissa do one. They were putting the M&M's in each little bubble and Clarissa said "this is hard work!", lol. It was fun watching Shawn teach the kids about his job and they were super excited to pop their M&M's out of the bubbles when they finished. It was a cute moment and it made me happy. :) 

The year that everyone went to the doctor

I swear, when it rains it pours around here. I guess I have taken for granted how healthy we normally are, because in the last few months I have done nothing but take people to the doctor and it's really throwing me off a bit. My kids hardly ever get sick and have never really had medical procedures done. No ear tubes, no tonsils, nothing really. They go for checkups and every now and then someone gets the flu or something, but in general we just rarely have a reason to go to the doctor.

And I guess this time around it's not like everyone is sick, everyone just needs medical procedures done, all at the same time. I've been back and forth to the orthodontist several times in the past few months getting the braces situation figured out, and that will continue for the rest of this year. Josh gets his on in a few weeks and Matthew starts the process this summer.

Clarissa has had absolutely horrible allergies for the past few months and after going to our regular doctor and trying every allergy medicine available with no success, they finally referred us to an allergist for allergy testing. Turn out, it's cats. *sigh* They gave her a nasal spray that has helped a ton though, but we have a few follow ups with the allergist coming up to make sure that solves the problem.

Matthew has had a weird bump on his neck for a few months. It seemed to be going away and we thought it was getting better, but now it's back and worse than ever. We took him to our regular doctor and he didn't want to mess with it, so he referred us to an ENT and this morning Shawn took him over there to have it looked at. The ENT is 99% sure that it's just a cyst and nothing to worry about,  but it's not going to go away on it's own, so it's going to have to be surgically removed. Like, day surgery, anesthesia, stitches and the whole thing. Ugh. We hoping to wait a month to have it done, after school is out, so he doesn't have to miss school for it. It doesn't seem to be anything urgent, but Matthew is a bit freaked out about the idea of surgery. So he's got braces and cyst removal happening this summer. Not the way a 10 year old really wants to spend his summer!

And I'm still getting over whatever has invaded my body these past few days. I feel slightly better today. I'm on a week of prednisone for the asthma issues though, and the side effects of prednisone aren't my favorite thing. Whatever, I can sort of breathe now, so that's something.

Also, my dentist keeps calling to try to schedule the crown I need done. I just can't even with that night now. I'll get to it after everyone else's issues are taken care of.

So anyway, that's what is keeping us busy lately. I wish it was something more fun than constant doctor appointments. Because any thing doctor related tends to be an anxiety trigger for me, it's kind of exhausting to keep it together and not stress about it. I have to work hard to keep the anxiety in check. Plus, now I have a pile of doctor bills to contend with, and I assure you, that is NOT my favorite thing!

But because I'm trying to make an effort to find happy things, here are a few happy things that have been going on here lately.

I read two books last week. I read an entire book from beginning to end on Friday and another one on Sunday. That felt really good, actually. I haven't done that in a while. In my quest to make more time to do things I enjoy, I have really enjoyed spending more time reading.

Another thing that has made me happy lately is that Shawn and Josh have started going to the gym together every morning and they love it. I can't believe what a change I have seen in Josh this past year. Josh is not a sports kid. He never has been. He hates team sports, he has always hated PE, and he hated running. Basically, physical activity was not his thing, lol. That has always worried me, and over the years I have tried different things without success.

Then last spring when he was registering for his 8th grade classes, a friend talked him into signing up for a really hard core PE class called Multi Fit, which involves lots of cardio, weight lifting and running. He signed up because his friends talked him into it and then immediately panicked over his decision, lol. None of the things in that class are things he liked. Like, at all.

So last summer he decided that if there was any way he was going to survive that class, he'd better start training for it over the summer. He started running on our treadmill, which he hated at first, but he stuck with it. Then the class started in the fall and at the beginning of the year they did a whole bunch of fitness testing to see where they were at and Josh pretty much came in last in most of it. There are a lot of athletes in the class, and Josh just couldn't keep up.

But Josh being Josh, plugged along, has worked incredibly hard and I'm telling you, I have watched a completely different person emerge this year. He LOVES that class! The kid who couldn't run from the front door to the mailbox last year is now running laps several times a week. They run the perimeter of the school on a regular basis, which is a mile and a half, and over the year he has improved his time by 8 minutes! He was in the back of the pack at the first of the year and now he's keeping up near the front.

Seeing that kind of helped inspire Shawn to decide to go back to the gym and Josh signed up too. They planned to go three times a week, but Josh has convinced Shawn to go pretty much every morning. They get up at 5:45 and get it done before work and school. They love it.

And along with that they're also hiking on Saturday mornings. Josh has to do a series of pretty long hikes to get his Eagle Scout, so they've been doing them together. They have to do five 10 miles hikes and then a 20 mile hike, and they're hoping to get them all done this summer.

And Josh loves all of it! The kid who used to hate any sort of physical exercise is now begging Shawn to hike with him and dragging him to the gym every morning. It has been kind of amazing to watch his transformation. That has been a great source of happiness for me this year. Watching my kids work hard at something and succeed is one of my favorite things about being a parent.

Another thing I have loved lately is watching Matthew become such a voracious reader. He has always liked to read but this year it's almost been amusing to me how much he loves it. He gushes over books like they're they greatest thing in the whole world. If I buy him a new book I'm his favorite person ever. And I love that he loves to read, so I DO buy him a new book practically weekly. I can't resist. He just finished reading the second book in a new series he started and this morning I got a quite a presentation on why it was the best book ever. Every book he reads is the best book ever. It makes me smile. :) I love that kid.

In Clarissa news, she has found a best friend. She has finally reached the age where she enjoys playing with friends and there is a girl that goes to our church who Clarissa is pretty much obsessed with. She begs to play with her all the time, and talks about her all day long. Sophia has a teeter totter in her back yard. Sophia has lots of princess dresses. Sophia has a big dog. Sophia has a little brother. It's all Sophia, all day long. It's been fun to watch her grow and change and hit so many new milestones. I still can't believe she's starting Kindergarten in the fall!

So there. There is some good and some bad going on in my life these days. I'm grateful that I have so many good things to balance out the not so good things. We'll get all these doctors appointments out of the way and go back to doing something more fun!

I'll be back later with my daily happy post. I'm always on the lookout for happy things these days! :)