Last week I was tagged in this blog post challenge by Jessica Foley at A Modern Mom’s Life blog. What a fun “challenge” to participate in! It has allowed me to think, in-depth, about the things that make me truly happy and that I’m so grateful for in life. I recommend everyone, bloggers and non-bloggers alike, make a list like this one. Because you know what I started to realize as I wrote down idea after idea? There is so much that makes me happy and that I’m truly grateful for.
A well-made cup of coffee, especially a latte.
I’ve had a love affair with coffee for as long as I can remember. It started with savoring the occasional indulgence in junior high. I still remember the day I talked my parents into splurging on our very first home cappuccino maker. It was a white Krupps. It was awesome. From that day on, making coffee drinks has been part of my identity and something I love to do for others. I also love a well-made latte or cappuccino from a local coffee shop. The taste of the bold, rich espresso paired with steamed milk, foamed to perfection, is the clothing equivalent of slipping on a comfy, broken in sweatshirt.
Those little hugs.
There’s something truly magical about the hugs from Emerson. She doesn’t hold back. She hugs with all of her heart and soul. It never ceases to amaze me about how much love and affection can be felt in an embrace by someone so small. She doesn’t need to use words to explain how much she missed me, loves me or needs me. Her sweet hugs say it all.
Music is a gift that keeps on giving in life. It is a soundtrack to our daily lives, that helps us celebrate in good times. It’s also the quiet confidant that comforts us when our mood is low. Songs from my past pop up into my daily life at the most unexpected moments, like the little gifts that they are. I love how they have a way of taking me right back to where I was at some point in time when I listened to it. A song has the power to bring back smells, feelings and emotions I felt when I listened to it at defining moments in my life. Seeing a great musician live sets the music on fire. It is intense and passionate. A force that brings people together in masses. Simply put, music is the gift that keeps on giving, day after day, year after year.
Exploring someplace new.
There’s something about exploring a new city, small town or park that makes me feel so alive. Venturing outside of my element allows me to just “be.” Without the standard to-do list to check off and semi-tunnel vision acquired from the day-to-day, I feel like a lighter version of me. Like a weight has been lifted. The child-like adventurer in me is free to come out and play. It almost feels like I am seeing my life from a brand new set of HD, Technicolor lenses. Exploring with my husband, kids, parents and sisters is the best. We learn things about each other we never knew before and may never have if it wasn’t for that time in a new place together.
Our king size bed.
Not long after my husband and I were married, we splurged on a king size bed. It was so exciting for us. Not only because we’d have sooo much more space to sleep, but because of what it represented about our future. This was the bed that our children would cuddle with us in. Plenty of space for Bentley, our eight pound Yorkie, and future children, to sprawl out in. Seven years, and two children later, we are living that dream. And it is so much better than we could have imagined. A lot of mornings (as long as it isn’t too early when our kids come into bed with us!) I lay there, and watch everyone sleep. It brings tears to my eyes. Because, in these moments there is no place in the entire universe I would rather be!
Watching my husband be a great Dad.
He’s my rock and my best friend. I knew when I met him that he’d be an amazing dad one day. Fast forward to now. I love watching when neither he, nor my children know that I am. He has such a strong presence that offers feelings of happiness, comfort and security in our home. Emerson is daddy’s little girl. She looks at him with such admiration and love. He’s everything I could have hoped for as the father go my children, and so much more.
The sound of my children giggling.
I’m sure any parent/grandparent/aunt or uncle would agree. There is just no better sound in the world than those giggles. The ones that light up their face and are contagious to everyone around them. I love those giggles.
My solo time in the a.m.
It can be so hard to get out of bed early. But when I do, the rewards are great. I elaborate more in my post on How to Find Balance in Mom Life. Simply put: sipping a hot cup of coffee in the stillness of the morning while reading my bible or writing a blog post is great food for the soul. I love my NIV, Mom’s Devotional Bible, which has daily readings specifically for the challenges that mothers may face.
Looking up at the stars, or out at the ocean.
Never am I so humbled as when I take the time to gaze up at the stars or out at the ocean. On days or weeks where my problems seem so big, spending time looking into the vastness of the stars night sky, or ocean, puts them into perspective. I’m in love with the feeling of wonder and awe that I get each time I allow myself to feel so small. Its something I would recommend anyone do from time to time.
My talks with Emerson about God and life
Kids have a way of saying some pretty profound things and asking some pretty deep questions. Even at just four-years-old, Emerson often asks thought-provoking questions that require thoughtful answers. During these talks, when I try to explain God and the world to her. I am constantly reminded of how magnificent He truly is. I love sharing that feeling of gratitude and faith with my little girl.
My dog, Bentley.
Okay, I totally cheated here by adding an 11, but I couldn’t help myself! My Yorkie, Bentley is the best. He’s been my furry, four-legged companion for ten years and I can’t imagine the last decade without him. Loyal, sweet and fun. It was me and B long before my beautiful family was in the picture.
In order to keep the chain going, I’ve challenged a few of my blogger friends to write about what makes them happy too! Be sure to check out: Chrissy at ChrissyWinchester.com, Bee at The Wordy Mom, Dami at How To Marry a Millionaire, Ayrn at With Cream and Sugar, Judy at funmammasa.com, Julie at Mostly Caffeinated, and Kathryn at Kathryn Anywhere.