Happy People!

Happy People!

With the anticipation of all the summer adventures ahead of us, what better time to remind ourselves of all the things that make us happy……and do some of them!!!

Emoji balloons!

“Happiness is not ready made.  It comes of your own actions.” 

Dalai Lama 

If you need a fresh perspective on truly being happy, listen to the lyrics of “Happy People” by the country group, Little Big Town.  The following is one of my favorite lines from the song:

Happy People by Little Big Town.

“Well, life is short and love is rare, and we all deserve to be happy while we’re here…so here’s to whatever puts a smile on your face!”

Here’s To Whatever Puts A Smile On Your Face!

I certainly don’t need to remind you that life isn’t all roses, in fact, it can bring us to our knees (literally) sometimes.  But perhaps we can all do a little better at making a conscious effort at seeing the fun and funny side of life!  So let’s consider a few of the little, everyday things that might make us smile!

1. Setting your alarm to a song that makes you happy to wake up!  I know, that’s a stretch…but I’ve tried it and it works!  I’ll find myself humming or singing some of the words to whatever song I woke up to throughout the day!  The song mentioned above is a good one—and will surely put a smile on your face.

2. A hot breakfast!  Especially if you don’t have to fix it!  On the weekends, my hubby will often make hot oatmeal with blueberries (so good) and wheat toast with fresh jam–eating it out on our patio during the summer months definitely puts a smile on my face!  A weekend brunch after doing some early morning cleaning is a win/win–and sure to have you smiling all day long!

The Park Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah

A favorite brunch spot of mine is the Park Café!  (If you live close or find yourself visiting Salt Lake City, I highly recommend eating here!) 

3. Being outside when the weather is just right!  After a long winter season and a wet, rainy spring here in Utah, it seems that finally being able to get outside has everyone I meet sporting a happy smile!

Adventuring outside up City Creek Canyon!

A recent hike up gorgeous City Creek Canyon on a perfect summer day with two of my granddaughters had us all smiling! 

4. Laughing!  There’s no better way to put an exclamation on your day than laughter!   There are few things in life that lift my spirits more or put a smile on my face quicker than hearing my son’s deep, full-hearted laugh as he shares funny anecdotes from his experiences of living abroad in Germany, or as a dentist for the US Army.  Life can get hectic–we’d all do well to just smile and laugh at the craziness a little more!

5. Growing something!  I learned to love gardening from my grandmother, and my husband and I have planted a little vegetable garden almost every year.  The accomplishment of tending to something, watching it grow and then harvesting the fruits of our labors is rewarding and indeed smile worthy!

Growing strawberries!

I tried my hand at growing strawberries this year and I have to admit, I had a giddy smile on my face when I saw the first few blossoms turn to strawberries and start to ripen!

6. Encouraging others!  Being genuinely happy for others and offering them support and encouragement as they try hard to live their lives to the best of their ability can’t help but put the most satisfying smiles on our faces!

Being happy for others quote.

My parents were always quick to impress upon me the importance of showing love and appreciation for those who were happy to see me make accomplishments and achieve my dreams, as well. 

7. Being curious!  I’m a firm believer that inquisitive thinking and a passion for exploring will nourish our minds…and that my friends, is something to smile about!

8. Remaining young at heart!  No matter our age, don’t we love to be around those who have chosen to live, laugh and love with the infectious playfulness of a person untainted by the harsh realities of today’s world!  Let’s face it, when we choose happiness, we’re more fun, more childlike, we smile more…and hopefully, those around us will too!!

I love the saying, “Happiness appears where dreams meet preparation.”  It implies, that like most things in life, happiness takes a little work–but living a more fulfilled life is the ultimate reward–that, and a lot of smiles!

Happy looks good on you quote.

Add to the list…I’d love to know some of the little, everyday things you do that help you smile more?

–With love and a big smile, Mary

Hello 2017! Let’s Try A Little Harder To Be A Little Better!

Hello 2017!

It was such a fun holiday season…but as a new year gets underway, I’ll admit I’m dragging a bit.  One lazy morning before we had to head back to work, I asked my hubby what he was looking forward to most in the upcoming year…as pragmatic as always, he simply said, Just another great 365 days, if I’m lucky!”  Then he turned and looked at me with that knowing look that says, “I know you hate New Year’s resolutions, so let’s see you answer this one!”  Now, I’m not usually quick with a witty come back, but this time I think I genuinely surprised him with my answer…..“I’m just going to try a little harder to be a little better!” Just try a little harder to be a little better!

Let’s Try A Little Harder To Be A Little Better!

While making New Year’s resolutions seems to take on the notion that big changes need to be made in your life…trying a little harder to be a little better seems very doable!  Here’s a few things I’m going to try a little harder at being a little better at:

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more healthy!  A healthy focus shouldn’t solely be on weight loss.  I once heard the statement that we should exercise like a diabetic heart patient with a stroke so that you never actually become one!  While this may sound a bit extreme, taking good care of our physical health should always be a priority.  Starting the year off with an exam from our physician will help determine our present state of well-being and where we can improve.  Doing this doesn’t guarantee a long life, but working a little harder to be better at exercising daily and eating more healthy will certainly make for a more active, enjoyable one.  My son, who is a dentist, would also add to floss and brush your teeth regularly too.  Dental problems are awful.

Exercising cartoon.

“Someone’s health can often be judged by what they take two at a time…..stairs or pills!”  Joan Walsh      

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more content!  Life can’t always be a party. Darn!  We need to learn to appreciate the small things and be present in the moment; find contentment in our daily routines.  As Dave Dero wrote in his article,  Advice From Some Old People“We don’t get to stay on this crazy/wonderful planet forever, and the greatest pleasures can often be found in the most mundane of activities.  Instead of sending a text, pick up the phone and call someone–or better yet, go visit them and have a conversation about nothing in particular.  Those are the moments to hold onto!”   

"Live in the Moment!" quote.

My dad always used to tell me,  “Mary, just enjoy life, don’t waste away your days looking for better ones ahead!”     

I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at being more loving!  We’ve all heard a lot of good advice on this topic.  There’s just no better feeling in the world than knowing that you truly mean something to someone else.  Let’s be unafraid to express and show our love for others!  Let’s plan things to celebrate love!  Let’s make the most of the time we have with loved ones!Funny love quote.

I came across a fun idea for some neat date nights here.

Date Night Jar

Creating a Date Night Jar helps keep the romance alive–especially when you haven’t made other plans!

♦ I’m going to try a little harder to be a little better at giving my best effort!  There will always be demands on our time.  Our dream jobs aren’t always a dream every day, family and friends require a certain amount of commitment to help keep the relationships strong–in short, life can get overwhelming.  Let’s all remember to take a deep breath when needed, and simply vow to not make excuses and do the best we can in every situation.  Ultimately, I think when we put our best foot forward, so to speak, we are rewarded by others acting in kind…it’s a chain reaction of good!  No matter what though, it’s just a great feeling when we know we are giving our best under the the various circumstances we encounter!

Determination quote.

♦ What I really want to try a little harder to be a little better at this year is enjoying more adventures, connecting with more people who have good energy and learning a few new things that help me grow.  We all have that list of things we want to try someday…..new experiences we’d like to have, perhaps a talent we’d like to develop more–whatever it is, let’s pick one or two, make a plan and go for it!  I don’t want to wake up one day and be sad that I didn’t try some of the things I’ve dreamed about doing.  My husband and I are taking on something we’ve dreamed about for a few years now–I can’t wait to share more about it in the near future!

Curly Girl card.

Happy New Year, everyone!  I hope yours is off to a great start! 

Inspire us!  Share some of your goals and plans for the coming year.

–Mary  

Dear Mom…Writing A Special Mother’s Day Letter!

Dear Mom!  Writing A Special Mother’s Day Letter!

Mother’s Day is this Sunday, and if you’re anything like I was when my mother was alive–it was always the mad search to find just the right gift that expressed perfectly the love and respect I had for her and the wonderful influence she was in my life!  I don’t think it ever really dawned on me that the best gift might have been to write a letter and tell her what was in my heart…you see, having been a mother for many years now myself, I’ve come to realize that time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters!

Dear Mom...

I like the quote by the late satirical journalist, Erma Bombeck, that says, “Mothers have an astute way of making your life feel important!”  Why then, do we often find it so hard to express our deep gratitude for them?

One of the things that romanticized my mom and dad’s generation for me, were the letters that my parents often wrote to each other during their courtship and subsequent marriage, as well as other amazing love stories I’ve read about that were highlighted in the correspondence that was shared between loved ones who were often separated for long periods of time during the war times of that era.

The Art of Letter Writing!

In this day and age of ever advancing technology and electronic communication, we just might find ourselves in need of a little refresher course in the art of letter writing.  When I looked up the word “letter” in the dictionary–yes, I resisted the urge to access Google–the definition proved profound!

Letter: (noun) A written message from one party to another containing information.  Letters guarantee the preservation of communication between both parties.  They bring friends or relatives closer together, enrich professional relationships and provide a satisfying means of self-expression.

Interestingly, it also states that the main advantages of letters are there is no need for special devices—just a postal address and stamp where applicable.  Letters also provide a permanent physical record of communication that is more personal than an email.

A Mother’s Day Letter!

Mother's Day quote.

If you need a little inspiration to help get your letter started, here’s a few ideas…

Celebrate Memories!

There’s nothing that gets the ball rolling, so to speak, than sharing a few favorite fond memories that you can laugh about now!  If I was writing a letter to my mom now, perhaps I would share again the story we laughed about over the years…

One afternoon when I had first learned to ride a bike, but was still a little shaky, my mom thought I should wear some gym shoes instead of the sandals I had on as I set out on a bike ride adventure with friends.  She knew that I still used my feet on occasion for some extra breaking power when I got going too fast.  Well, it was summer, I was with friends, and somehow putting on shoes didn’t seem too cool at the time.  But as fate would have it, it wasn’t long before my very vulnerable feet had to be used to help gain control of my bike as it descended a steep hill.  Oh, how I remember hobbling home with the toe pieces of my thongs all askew and gravel embedded into most of my toenails.  My mother and I would have chuckled again about how some kids just have to learn things the hard way!

♥ Tell Her You Love Her…And Why!

Writing a Mother's Day Letter!

Many conversations in our family often end with, “Love ya!”   And while there’s nothing wrong with that, writing down a few specific reasons why you love your mom is sure to make this Mother’s Day especially memorable for her!

I love that my mother taught me that it was okay to express my feelings and share my concerns with her; she truly was my safe haven when the world seemed a bit daunting.  Her ability to truly listen was one of her greatest virtues!  I loved my mother’s deep commitment to our family.  She taught me to have a willing heart and in so doing she helped me realize just how beautiful the world can be when you serve and give to others.  I loved how she showed such finesse in living well.

Thank goodness our mother’s are patient and are able to withstand the many phases of a child’s love as they grow and mature!

Mother's Day quote.

♥  Thank Her For Her Sacrifices!

It goes without saying that our mother’s seem to come with an innate ability to love us unconditionally and are willing to do most anything within their power to help their children become the best versions of themselves.  Perhaps the best way for us to thank them for their selflessness (beside telling them) would be to always work hard at reaching our full potential!  In his book, “All Mom’s Go To Heaven” –Dean Hughes discusses this topic perfectly!

We say, “My mother is always self-sacrificing; she takes the smallest piece of pie and never looks out for herself because she does everything for us.  She cleans and scrubs and picks up after us and works her fingers to the bone and I really do appreciate it.”  We ought to follow that line of thought with the right conclusion; “But I’m going to do my best to change all that because it just isn’t right.  From now on, I’m going to take the smaller piece of pie, and I’m going to help her scrub the tub and the toilets and I’m going to pick up after myself.”

Quotes about mothers.

♥ Share What You’ve Learned From Her!

I think it’s fair to say that young mothers in the trenches of raising small children too often feel like most of what they have to say usually falls on deaf ears!

One valuable lesson I learned from my mother’s nurturing example was just how important it was to truly enjoy the journey of motherhood and the privilege that was mine of being able to steer my children in the right direction with positive energy and disciplined guidance; trying my best to help them develop integrity and strength in character that would lead them to being productive, caring individuals!

Thoughts On Motherhood! www.mytributejournal.com

“As a mother, you will often be somebody’s superhero…and you won’t even have to wear a cape!”  Jen Singer, author of “14 Hours Before Bedtime!”

(My mother has been gone for a little over ten years now, but I’m always mindful of her and the wonderful legacy she left for our family!)    

Share Your Heart!

Being a mother is not without its joys and triumphs, but the truth of the matter is that most days it’s really hard work!   Maybe the hardest thing about mothering is keeping a clear vision of the big picture amid the confusion of everyday life!  Who better to help you gain a keener perspective than your own mother; after all, she can attest to the fact that embracing the role of being a mother makes you a better person!  Whenever I did share my heart with my sweet mother, and the feelings of inadequacy I felt on occasion as I compared my skills to those of other women, she in turn shared her heart…..always reassuring me that ALL mothers are human and they mess up and make mistakes–their best isn’t perfect by a long shot…..but still the role of “Mother” is one to be cherished and cultivated in our own unique way!

Mother Teresa quote.

“Of all the people who reach out and try to understand one another, mothers surely ought to lead the way!”  Dean Hughes

I’d love to know what little gem of advice your mom taught you that you treasure the most!

Happiest Mother’s Day wishes to all…and happy writing!

(Feel free to down load some fun stationary here to use for writing your letter.)

–Mary