I was so delighted to open my laptop this morning to see a lovely, and thoughtful shout out from Chelsea at The Vintage Chair. I’ve seen the Happy 101 Award floating around blogland, and I was so honored that she thought of me. I also wanted to say a big thank you to Ashley at As a Matter of Opinion for bestowing me with the Honest Scrap Award a while back. It came in the middle of a crazy time for me, and I’m sorry I didn’t respond sooner (Ashley, please forgive my scatterbrainess!) So if its ok, I’m going to cheat a bit and respond to them at the same time, with ten things that make me smile-from-ear-to-ear-happy! (I stole a few of these from the Happiness Challenge I did a few months ago. No reason to completely reinvent the wheel right?)
1. My husband. Predictable, I know, but my life has changed dramatically since I met Matt, and I can honestly say that I’ve never met someone who makes me laugh as often or as hard as Matt. He gets me, even the parts of me that I sometimes don’t get, and he loves me unconditionally. I am so so blessed and thankful to be sharing my life with such an fun and incredible guy.
2. My family. We have always been that crazy, strange family who loves hanging out together and laughing at things other people just don’t get. Even as a kid, I would gladly pass up a sleepover invite to stay home and watch a movie and with family. My little brother is the light of my life and the motivation behind so much of what I want to do. Being a good big sister is the accomplishment I’m most proud of to date. (This picture was taken in Positano, Italy two summers ago. If you haven’t been, add it to your must-go-to list!)
3. Celebrating the small stuff. In my family, we celebrate everything, no matter how big or how small. Every year on the last day of school, my parents would print out a banner with something like, “See ya second grade, hello third grade!” We celebrated Valentines Day as a family with heart shaped pizza, we celebrated St. Patty’s Day with a green dinner where my mom would add green food coloring to everything (yes, we had green milk and green mashed potatoes, and yes, it was awesome), and when my mom was pregnant with my brother, we had a “congrats you’re gonna be a big sister” celebration. I’ve translated this into my “adult life” having parties to celebrate Matt’s first solo publication, friends getting accepted into various programs and internships, and having a 100 followers party. Life is short, celebrate the small stuff!
4. Diet Dr. Pepper. I’m from Texas, and no Texas girl can survive life without this delicacy. For real yall.
5. Thrifting with my mom. I love things that have history, things that tell a story. I love things that have been loved by someone else and things that show they can stand the test of time. There is no better way to discover these things than thrifting, and my mom and I have made this experience into quite the adventure, though we prefer the term “treasure hunting.” It’s a bit more inclusive (garage sales, flea markets, family hand-me-downs, thrift stores, etc.) Our treasure hunting was put on hold when my parents moved overseas, and it’ll be put on hold again when Matt and I move to Chicago next month. But I have no doubt what we’ll be doing when my mom comes to Chicago to visit!
6. Longtime friends. I love all of my friends, and I am all for branching out and discovering new relationships with each phase that life brings you. However, I think there is something to be said for longtime friends, friends who have known you for years and friends who have experienced you at so many points in your journey. No matter how often we see each other or how often we talk, there’s just something about the bond you share with longtime friends that makes me happy. And these three ladies certainly fit that bill! (That’s me on the far right. Short hair is a definite “never again” for me!)
7. Tiny, local restaurants. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good trip to Chili’s or Olive Garden once in a while, but sweet, small, hole in the wall restaurants just warm my heart. I don’t know if it’s the people, the food, the cozy atmosphere, or the feeling that the spot is someone’s pride and joy, but something about these places makes me really happy. Matt and I have our own favorite spot where we live, and it’s so special to us, we got engaged just outside of it, on a wooden bench.
8. Christmastime. I know lots of people enjoy Christmas, but I actually prefer the 24 days before Christmas (though I try to always be mindful of the reason for season.) The tunes, the spirit, the weather, the get togethers, the trees, the family traditions, the Nutcracker…I could go on and on. Oh how I looove me some Christmastime!
9. Finding an old mix cd. In college, it was the cool thing to do to make your friends mix cd or mark a special occasion or roadtrip with its own soundtrack. Though that idea has now evolved into an iPod playlist, there is nothing like finding an old mix cd stuffed at the bottom of your car console, desk drawer, or suitcase. I found one from my junior year in college and was literally rocking out like a crazy person to Wilson Phillips, old school Gwen Stefani, and early 50 Cent for weeks. I encourage you to dig up an old mix cd; I promise you won’t be able to stop smiling!
10. Blogging. I started my blog about six months ago, and I had no idea how much joy it would bring me. There is something magical about intentional reflection, connecting and sharing encouragement with so many different people, and having a little place to call my own. But blogging wouldn’t be blogging with each and every one of you, so thank you, for being a part of my daily happiness!
To pass the happiness around, I am excited to share the Happy 101 Award with ten other delightful bloggers who keep me smiling each and every day.
Amber at Amber’s Notebook
Kelly at Just a Girl in a City
Jessica at Living the Swell Life
Anne at Get Your Martha On
Anh at 9 to 5 Chic
Amy at kelinda.KELINDA
Melissa at Martinis and Football
Lauren at Busy Bee Lauren
…and Belle on Heels
Happy Thursday to all of you! May you find yourself smiling from ear to ear sometime this afternoon!