Sunflower

No words today. Just a photograph I took at a friend’s house over the weekend. Wishing you a calm, pleasant Tuesday.

sunflower

Happier Life Dreamboard

It felt like a dreamboard kind of day, so I pulled out a stack of magazines and my craft supplies to put down on paper what was swirling around in my brain. The final board looks like this:

dreamboard collage

It would seem I was drawn to words more than images this time around. I even included a short article by a nun that talks about how she approaches life. In it she says…

The impulse to hurt someone back is strong, but I don’t like how I feel when I do that. So I don’t let anyone make me anything less than the most loving and kind person I want to be. … We have a choice, every single time, about how to respond to whatever crosses our paths.

I admit I’ve been feeling a little grumbly lately. Chalk it up to raising a teenager, having my in-laws in our guest room for the past 8+ months, or my own pregnancy hormones in full flux. Whatever the case, I don’t like how I’ve been feeling and today I’m making a concerted effort to change what I can- myself.

This morning I finally popped in a tai chi video I borrowed from the library and gave it a try. The calm, purposeful movements had me feeling more harmonious in less than 30 minutes. When my stepson came downstairs doing his usual nudgy teenager thing that seems to have developed this summer, I kept a pleasant tone and engaged him in what I was doing. Not a bad start.

While a Harry Potter movie played in the background, I got to work on my dreamboard and found myself drawn to words like place, love, family, friends, energy, praise, and cooking. One great find among the magazine pages was the phrase “Happier Life” which I deemed the title of this dreamboard after pairing it with the phrase “quite simply.”

As far as images go, I was drawn to gardens, fresh produce, hearts, and Mighty Mouse. Why Mighty Mouse? I’m still trying to figure that one out. Perhaps it’s my desire to be the happy protector and bright spot of energy for my family. My husband has recently dubbed me our life manager. Is that a call for Mighty Mouse to the rescue?

Now that I can see clearly my desire to bring family together in the kitchen for healthy meals, I’ve pulled some recipes, made a list, and this afternoon I plan on getting what I can from a local farmer’s market before I go to the grocery store.

I love it when a dreamboard helps focus my energy.

Hello Again, Big News, and some Friday Happy

Hello everyone! (If you are in fact still out there and I sure hope you are.) As often happens with me in the summer time, I have taken a hiatus from blogging. Actually I’ve taken a hiatus from my computer in general. No blogging, twittering, Facebooking. No sirree. I’ve hardly even checked email.

Glorious!

Why a summer hiatus? So many reasons. First, I love life and summer reminds me of all the wonderful things there are to enjoy about life. It also reminds me to slow down. More relaxing, more fresh air, more time with friends and family.

Second, my long running contract work ended rather abruptly in July. As a web project manager, my entire work day revolved around being tied to my computer. When I suddenly found myself not tethered to it, I felt lighter. I’ve worked with computers heavily for my entire 10 year career. Stepping away was exactly what I needed to reconnect with myself.

Third (and by no means diminished in this last position), I’ve been nesting. Why now? I’m so jittery-teary-eyed-excited to share with you for the first time online that a little one is on the way! That’s right. My belly is growing and so is the love in my heart for the tiny little addition that will greet us near the end of January. It’s been a tougher journey to get here than I would prefer, but my husband, my stepson, and I are ecstatic and thankful.

Happy Book BadgeNow, let us remember that it is Friday and Jamie has challenged her Next Chapter book group to share their happy on Fridays while copies of The Happy Book make their way around the book groups. I think I’ve already done that above. I have so much to be happy about.

This week Jamie is shaking up the challenge and is now inviting everyone to get their own copy of The Happy Book to share in a new happy activity each week. I’ve reserved my copy and will be headed to the book store shortly to pick it up. Will you join the fun?

The first activity Jamie selected from the book is to choose your mascot, carry it with you wherever you go, and take pictures of it along the way. It just so happens that last Christmas I bought a four-pack of little Christmas ornament dolls and gave one to each of my best friends (see below photo, my doll is the one in the turquoise dress).

Mascot dolls for me and my girlfriends

I then set up a private blog where we could each take pictures of our doll as a fun way to share our lives. The last post to that blog was in April, so this feels like the perfect opportunity to reinvigorate the adventure. I’ll be putting my doll in my purse today to get her back out in this wide, wonderful world.

What about you? What have you been up to this summer? What is making you happy this week? What mascot will you carry?