Thursday, July 31, 2014


Someone shared this video on Facebook today and I know I'm over emotional sometimes, but it totally made me cry!! Sometimes something like this comes along and it makes you realize just how much we take for granted in life. I don't think we spend enough time thinking about where our everyday items come from and being grateful for the people who work so hard for so little money to provide it for us. I was grateful today for this little reminder.

 Just watch.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Clarissa's Story

Clarissa wrote a story this morning and was very excited to show it to me. It made me laugh so hard that I had to make sure it was properly documented! So I photographed it and wrote it down exactly as she told it to me. She cracks me up. :)

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Friday, July 25, 2014


I was looking at this picture I took of Clarissa last month on our vacation and it reminded me of a similar picture I took of her in Korea, so I put them together for comparison. This makes me smile because she did NOT like Shawn at first. The fact that she even let him hold her in that photo was kind of a miracle.

And now? One hundred percent daddy's girl. :)

Happy :)

I know my happy project is over, but I had to share one more. :) This morning Clarissa drew this and hung it on the wall in my bedroom next to my side of the bed. I love that kid. Her artwork is all over the house and I love it! It definitely makes me happy!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014


After 100 days of blogging, I suddenly don't have a whole lot to say! I am loving this summer because it's probably the most low key summer we've ever had. Usually we're busy with trips and camps and the kids activities, but this summer I purposely didn't really plan much for us. That means that we have had lots of lazy summer days this month, which have kind of been nice. The boys have been camping out occasionally, going to dollar movies during the day, hanging out with friends and just having fun. It's the way I remember summer when I was a kid. Walking to the park to get a snow cone, hanging out with friends, riding my bike, etc. I'm happy that this summer they're experiencing that. It feels nice not to be busy and over scheduled sometimes.

I'm enjoying it while it lasts because I know as soon as August hits we're going to be crazy busy again. Because all three kids are starting new schools this year, all three of them will have some sort of orientation type thing we'll need to go to, in addition to registration, so that will mean all sorts of trips to all three schools to deal with all of that.We'll also be running around doing back to school shopping, which is a time consuming process. I'm crossing my fingers that Josh has grown a bit this summer because the last time we bought pants for him he was in this weird size that doesn't really exist. Everything was too long, too short, to loose or too tight. He was at this weird stage where he was too big for the biggest kids size but too small for the smallest men's size. I'm hoping that he has had enough of a growth spurt this summer to kick him up to the next size and maybe we won't have to drive all over the planet searching for jeans that fit!

Clarissa starts school August 12th and the boys go back on August 25, so it will be a month of changes and adjustments. Also, in the middle of that we will celebrate Matthew's 11th birthday on August 15th and Shawn's pharmacy is moving to a new building sometime in August so I have the feeling that when that happens he's going to be super busy with work for a while while they set everything up at their new location and get up and running.

So for now I am content with lazy days. We're all hanging out doing nothing super important and I think we all need that right now. It's the calm before the storm. The past few months have been crazy busy and the next few months will probably be crazy busy again, but right now we're just chilling out and watching the clouds go by and taking a much needed breather. And that makes me happy! :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


It feels so weird to be done with my 100 days of happy project! I considered keeping it going, but decided not to. It was somewhat of a challenge to make sure I blogged every single day for 100 days. I needed a break!

Today was a doctor day. This morning Matthew and I went to the orthodontist to talk about a treatment plan for his teeth. Basically Matthew's teeth are all sorts of messed up. Which we already knew, I suppose, but today we got to see x-rays and molds and photographs.

He has multiple problems happening. His lower jaw is too far back and his upper teeth are way too far forward. Since his lower teeth don't meet his upper teeth, his lower teeth have grown way too high trying to find his top teeth. He's too young for full braces because he still has baby teeth, but it's bad enough that it really needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. So next month he's getting braces on his four front top teeth and his four front bottom teeth. They'll work on moving his overbite back and his bottom teeth down. Then in six months or so they're going to put in a device called a herbst, which will force his lower jaw forward. That will stay in for a year or so. After all of that they'll take everything off and take a break for a year or so and then he's probably going to have to have a full mouth of braces again after that to fix the rest of his adult teeth that haven't come in yet. So basically he's looking at years and years of orthodontic work. Poor kid.

He's not super thrilled about it, but he is excited for the end result. The orthodontist showed us pictures of someone else who had very similar problems and the end result looked great. He's going to be glad he's getting it over with.

So we spent quite a while dealing with that this morning and then I hurried and dropped him off at home and I had a dentist appointment. I hate going to the dentist. We all know my feeling about doctors. I still need a crown done. I'm still dragging my feet about it. Bleh.

So that pretty much took up most of my day. But in the spirit of sharing happy things on my blog, I have a happy thing today! (It's a habit I don't know how to quit now, lol.)

My happy thing is that Matthew is doing great in piano lessons! He's only been taking lessons for a little over a month. His teacher basically skipped through the first book because he was picking it up so fast. He really loves practicing and I love hearing piano music in the house. It makes me happy every time he sits down to play.

I know this song is super simple, but for a month of piano lessons it's not so bad! He's been playing it all week and it's stuck in my head, so I filmed it this morning so I could share it with everyone else. Now it can get stuck in your head for a while. :) I'm proud of how well he's doing!

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Well here we are, 100 days later, and I have officially completed the 100 happy days challenge. Yay me!

So here is what I've learned about life over the past 100 days. One thing that I learned is that the things that make me truly happy aren't things. They're the people in my life and the experiences I have. Spending time with my kids, date nights with Shawn, girls nights with friends. It has been really fun today to review the last 100 days and remember the things that made me happy. 

To be honest, the past couple of months have had some turmoil and struggles. There has been a lot of change happening lately, which we all know I resist! Saying goodbye to my mom was hard, and watching my kids all finish a phase in their schooling was emotional. There were some days that I really had to think about what my happy thing for the day was going to be, because not every day of my life is super exciting and adventurous and full of obvious happy things.

But I think that's why this project was so good for me. It taught me to look for and appreciate the little things in life. Not every day of my life is a day at the beach. Sometimes it's just full of keeping a house together, juggling three kids and figuring out what's for dinner. But even on the mundane days, this project taught me to look for the happy moments, and without fail there were always happy moments to be found. 

But the biggest thing I learned as a result of this project, is that the biggest factor in my happiness is me. The trick to life is choosing to be happy, even if life isn't going exactly as planned. There were days that I had to create happy things. There were days when I had to dig deep to find the happy. When it really comes down to it, my happiness doesn't depend on what's going on around me, it comes from inside. Happiness is a choice. What I have come to realize is that choosing to be happy is probably one of the most important skills in life to master, and for me, being such an introverted overthinker, that isn't something that always comes easy for me. This project has helped me work on that skill, and for that I am grateful.

So for day 100 I decided that my happy thing was obvious. It's me. When it all comes down to it, I choose my happiness. My happiness comes from me. 

And that's what I learned in 100 days. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

Day 99

It's day 99!! One more day and I have actually completed a goal! :) Look at me, finishing what I start like a grown up. There might still be hope for me yet. :)

So my happy thing today doesn't really have a picture, so I'm sharing a related photo, even though I didn't take it and I think it was taken a few days ago.

My happy thing is that I got to FaceTime with my mom and stepdad in Malaysia! After spending a week in Utah, three days in Hong Kong and a day in Singapore, they have finally arrived in Kuala Lumpur, where they will be living for the next year and a half or so.

I have gotten a couple of short e-mails but haven't really gotten to hear much from them in the past week and I've been really anxious to hear that they had gotten settled. So when my iPad started ringing, letting me know my mom was trying to FaceTime me, I got super excited!! The connection wasn't great, so it was a bit choppy, but I was really happy to see their faces and know that they had arrived in Malaysia safely.

They are doing well, just getting settled in and trying to figure everything out. I think it's going to be quite a culture shock for them for a while!

We didn't get to talk too long because they were getting ready to start their day (it's Saturday morning there already) but at the end of the call my mom asked me to call my grandma and let her know that I had heard from them. They're still getting their phones figured out so they can't call her yet.

So after I talked to them I called my grandma. And here is something I realized today. It doesn't matter how old you get, or how old your kids get, you still worry about them every time they're out of your sight. My grandma is 91 and my mom is 67 and when I called my grandma to tell her that they had arrived and were doing well, I could hear the relief in her voice to know that they were safe. She had been worrying about them.

I know that feeling so well, it's a mom thing. We're hard wired to worry about our kids every time they go out into the world. I don't know why I thought maybe that goes away when you're elderly and your kids have long since grown up and left home, but I could tell from the relief I heard in my grandmas voice that it never goes away, even if you're 91 and your child is in their 60's.

I find that both comforting and terrifying at the same time, lol. I'm a nervous wreck every time I so much as have to send a kid to scout camp for the week. This continues forever? Crap. My plan to lock my kids in a box forever is starting to make more sense. (Don't worry, I'm not locking anyone in a box. I may, however, have to attend college with them and possibly move in with them when they get married. lol)

So that's my happy thing today. Mothers and daughters. I was happy to talk to my mother and know that she arrived safely and I was happy to be able to pass that news on to her mother, who has been waiting to hear that her daughter was safe.

I don't have a picture of the FaceTime session or the phone call, but I do have a photo of my mom and stepdad arriving in either Hong Kong, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. I'm not sure which. (The other guy in the photo is either their mission president or their Hong Kong trainer, I'm not sure.) they seem happy and I'm happy for them!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day 98

S'mores in the backyard make me happy!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Perfect day

I already did my happy thing today, but maybe I should have waited, because today was one of those rare, perfect days.

You know how sometimes you have those days where everything just goes wrong? Your house is a mess and your kids are cranky and you have too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it? Today was the rare opposite of that kind of day. My house was clean, my kids were super happy and cooperative, Clarissa had her friend Sophia over and they played so cute together, and then Shawn called from work to see if I wanted to go out on a date when he got home.

So tonight we went out. We don't go on nearly enough dates. We mean to, but then life always seems to get in the way and it doesn't happen. But today it happened. We went out to dinner at this super cool hamburger place we've been wanting to try. We live in Idaho, which is famous for potatoes, and this place specializes in different kinds of french fries. They have french fries made out of all different types of potatoes, and then they have a condiment bar that has all different types of salt, and all different types of dip. Our fries were made from purple potatoes (that's really a thing) and we had blueberry ketchup. It was actually really good and so fun to try a different spin on burgers and fries. The restaurant makes everything from scratch, they even make their own pickles that are on the hamburgers. Also, they make their own soda. It's a cool place!

After that we went to a movie. We saw The Fault In Our Stars. I read that book a few of months ago and decided that I'd go see it by myself when it came out. It's a super girly movie and I didn't think I'd   have anyone to see it with. But I'm married to the most awesome man ever who will totally sit through a chick flick with me, so he offered to make it a date night and see it with me.

So when I read that book a few months ago, I was kind of cynical about it. Everyone raved about it, and I hate it when everyone is talking a book that I haven't read and I don't know what they're talking about. So I read it mostly for that reason. I have to know what everyone is talking about! I didn't love it as much as everyone else seemed to. It was just an overly schmaltzy teenage romance novel. I'm not sure what I expected, but I thought it was slightly on the cheesy side. It's possible that I'm just slightly too old for YA fiction, lol. Ugh, the idea of that pains me.

When I was a teenager I ate up that cheesy teenage romance fiction like it was the greatest thing on earth. Being in love when you're a teenager is like this magical thing. But then you experience a little bit more life and become cynical and realize that most people don't live happily after after with their hot and heavy teenage romance, and now those books annoy me. Now I'm all "yeah, give it a year. He'll meet some chick at college and forget your name." It's possible I stay bitter about teenage romance in loyalty to my broken hearted teenage self, lol.

But even though I didn't super love the book, I liked it enough to want to see the movie, and on our date tonight, that's what we did. I've never said this about any movie before, and may never say it about any movie again, but I actually think that in this case the movie was better than the book. I almost never ever like the movie better than the book in any case, but in this case the movie totally worked. I thought it was cast well and what seemed cheesy in print was actually sort of sweet on film. It's a ridiculously sad story and I told myself I wasn't going to cry, but of course I did, because sad movies always make me cry. And maybe, just for a minute, I wasn't so cynical about teenage romance. It reminded me again how sweet and magical it is to fall in love at that age. Also, it's a story about teenagers with cancer, so, spoiler alert, no one is going off to college to meet someone else and fall out of love. So...there's that.

In any case, we had a really good time. Good food, good movie, good company. Anything with Shawn is fun. Then on the way home the sunset was amazing. All pink and streaky clouds across the sky. Shawn and I have had this joke since we were dating that any time there is a beautiful sunset or pretty flowers or whatever pretty thing in nature and I comment on how pretty it is, he says "I did that for you", like he takes credit for the pretty thing. You kind of had to be there, but it has been making me laugh for almost two decades. He took credit for the sunset tonight. It made me laugh again.

I came home and realized that today has been a pretty perfect day. It was like a perfect storm of happy things. My stars aligned today or something. I'm sure tomorrow I'll wake up and the spell will be broken and kids will be wild and my house will need cleaned and there won't be enough hours in the day to get everything done. But was a really great day.

Day 97

I'm a cartoon!! :)

When I decided to re-design my blog I decided that I wanted a custom cartoony drawing of myself done for the header. I found someone on Etsy who does them so I ordered it last week and I just got it this morning. It turned out cute and it made me happy! :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 96

BLOSSOM!! BLOSSOM is on my TV! I was flipping channels tonight and there she was, in all her floppy hat glory. I loved that show as a kid and I haven't seen it in a really long time. I'm embarrassed to admit how excited I am to see it again. Cheesy shows from my youth make me happy. :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Day 95

Today's happy thing is ridiculous. I'm putting up the ridiculous warning right now, don't even try to say I didn't warn you. :)

An internet friend posted a picture of her dog today. He was lying on his back in a funny position and she took his photo and erased the background and challenged people to Photoshop him doing something funny.

I was bored and my ears perk up when I hear Photoshop (although to be honest, I didn't do these in Photoshop, I did them on my iPad) so I decided to take on the challenge.

I spent the better part of my evening photoshopping her dog into ridiculous scenes. It made me giggle. I'm easily amused, just humor me.

Here's the dog:

And here's what I did with him:


I told you it was ridiculous, but it made me giggle. Sometimes really dumb stuff makes me happy. :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Day 94

We ended our fun holiday weekend tonight with s'mores and sparklers in the backyard. We had an awesome time! We have this little patio fireplace thing that isn't fancy and we hardly ever use it, but we had so much fun tonight that I think we're going to have to pull it out and use it more often. It was really fun!

Then we got our the sparklers and I was super excited to get sparkler photos, but we had all sorts of technical difficulties. Is it just me or do they not make sparklers the way they used to? Half of them didn't work at all and the other half only halfheartedly worked for like 20 seconds. I was kind of bummed, but the kids still thought they were pretty awesome!

Most of the pictures didn't really work out because the sparklers went out to quickly for me to really do what I wanted to do, and sparkler photos are super tricky to take. I wish I could get more practice with them. It was fun to play around with and the kids had a great time making cool shapes and then running around the camera to see what they made.

All in all, a pretty awesome night. We actually didn't come in the house until 11:00! I had no idea it was so late. We were having too much fun to come inside!

I'm sad that Shawn has to go back to work tomorrow and our holiday is officially over. Those darn adult responsibilities really cut into my fun time, lol.

Here are some photos of our fun night! A night in the backyard with the kids made me happy!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Day 93

We had a great day today! I got to talk to my mom for a few minutes. They left the US today. They are currently on a plane on the way to Hong Kong, where they will be staying for a few days to do some training before going on to Singapore and then Malaysia. We've been tracking their flight online all afternoon, which has been fun. They are currently headed past Russia. They'll probably fly over the bottom of South Korea. I told her to wave and say hi for me, lol.

 I'm always super happy when she calls and then when she hangs up I have to compose myself for a minute so I don't cry. Ugh, I hate that I'm so emotional. The funny thing is that I really didn't talk to my mom all that often when she lived four hours away. We talked every few weeks, it's not like we made daily phone calls or anything. I've actually talked to her twice this week since they left. So it's not like I can't speak to her or contact her. She's not gone from my life or anything.  But I think knowing that I won't see her for so long or something is making it feel very dramatic in my mind. Because you know how I am, lol. It's silly I know. But I miss her, even if I can talk to her. She feels very far away. So I'm super upbeat on the phone and I love hearing how they're doing and then I get off the phone and cry for a minute and then I'm good. I just hate change. It will get easier.

But I was happy to hear from her and I'm excited for their new adventure. This is what they want to do and I'm happy for them.

This afternoon we continued our family holiday celebration. Clarissa got invited to spend the day at her friend Sophia's house, which is practically her second home lately, and Shawn and the boys and I watched The Neverending Story, which somehow we realized Matthew had never seen. Surprising, since it's one of my favorite movies. Family movie nights are one of my favorite things. They always make me happy!

Then Clarissa came home and we had a Super Mario 3D marathon. Every now and then we pull that game out and play for hours. Because it's a holiday we bought some junk food and we ate an embarrassing amount of Oreos and brownies and everyone got super hyper and it just got really silly. Like really, really, silly, lol. We sometimes get super ridiculous when we play family games. We laughed and laughed. We eventually had to put Clarissa to bed and then we kept playing for a while longer, until we were over tired and hyped up on junk food and we were laughing too hard to take the game seriously. I love playing Wii with the kids. Laughing so hard that we have to pause the game to breathe is pretty awesome. The kids love it when we get silly and sometimes it just feels good to get silly.

I can't properly capture a photo of our silliness. I'm not sure that there should even BE a photo of our silliness, lol. I did take a few quick cellphone photos, but you kind of had to be there. :) It was silly and it made me really happy. :)

Friday, July 4, 2014

Nice way to end the day :)

Day 92

This entire day could be my happy! We're having a great 4th of July. We didn't have anything specific planned today and it's supposed to be 100 degrees outside, so no one really wanted to do a lot of outdoor activities, so I told the boys they were in charge of planning our day. They're the entertainment committee, Shawn and I are the food committee and Clarissa is our assistant, lol.

So this morning we had a Wii tournament, then Clarissa requested a dance party, then we did a science experiement and attempted to blow something up in the backyard (it didn't really work, but it was fun anyway!), then Clarissa and I made cupcakes while the boys played board games with Shawn, and when our back patio cools off this evening we're going to have a BBQ in the backyard, make s'mores and light a few little fireworks.

That is one busy day!

So I really can't pick my favorite part of the day. It's all been really fun. I did take a photo of Clarissa helping me with cupcakes though, so I will use that as my picture. Pardon her bad hair day, lol.

Happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 91

This. This makes me happy.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day 90

Holy crap, it's day 90! I'm down to my last 10 days of happy! Did you think I'd last this long? Me either. :)

So today's happy thing is going to sound like a commercial, so I apologize for that in advance. I'm just really excited about toothpaste today!

I got a sample of toothpaste in the mail today from BzzAgent. They send me stuff to try out every now and then. Crest has a new line of toothpaste that is like flavored kids toothpaste, but for adults! Fun! I am such a sucker for stuff like this. Anything that comes in a fun or different flavor or scent, I have to try it. It's part of the reason I have a weird addition to lip balm. Every time I see one in a weird, unique flavor, I just can't help it, I have to try it.

So getting oddly flavored toothpaste in the mail today made me weirdly excited! I opened the box and immediately ran into the bathroom to brush my teeth.

They sent three flavors; lime spearmint, vanilla mint and mint chocolate. Of course I read the word chocolate and had to try that one first!

Mint chocolate toothpaste might sound weird but it is surprisingly good! If you've ever had that Extra desert gum, it tastes pretty much exactly like the mint chocolate ice cream flavor. It was an enjoyable tooth brushing experience! Then I told Josh that I had mint chocolate toothpaste and he ran and grabbed his toothbrush so he could try it too. He concurred. It's tasty!

So, weirdly, mint chocolate toothpaste is my happy thing today. I love getting samples in the mail. I'm so easily amused. :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Day 89

Clarissa just came into my room and said "look, I made you a flower!". Holy crap, she sure did! I asked her how she did it and she said that she cut a piece of paper into a circle, then colored it with marker, got the paper wet so the marker would spread like water colors and then she twisted it into a flower shape. It's actually kind of beautiful!

I asked her how she knew how to do that and she said she learned it at preschool. I really love it and I can't believe she made it by herself!

I have loved watching her personality and talents develop. She's incredibly creative and artistic. She will spend hours cutting up paper into collages or making origami shapes or drawing pictures or today I guess it's watercolor paper flowers. We use our formal dining room as more of an art room and there is a cabinet in there that is full of art supplies. Clarissa is in there every day creating something.

So today a beautiful flower made by a five year old made me happy!