Happiness in the Moment

We left our hotel in Virginia around 10 am and stopped in DC to see the Iwo Jima Memorial statue and tried to see the MLK Memorial and could not find parking before heading out of town.

It was a lot cooler today and we appreciated the irony from the car as we drove to Maryland.

We wanted to checkout Annapolis and try crab cakes for lunch.  The United States Naval Academy is a beautiful campus and the town by the water was very quaint. We enjoyed our brief visit before spending the rest of the day in the car, which wasn’t exactly how we anticipated the day unfolding.


serving others = happiness


Midshipmen walking across campus


beautiful landscape on the USNA, campus




sea themed stained glass window in the chapel



Maryland blue crab cake. YUM!

We hit lots of standstill traffic as we approached and eventually crawled across the Delaware Memorial Bridge.

We were hoping to be at our next destination for dinner yet we are still traveling at a snail’s pace and our estimated arrival time is approaching tomorrow.

We stopped at a rest area around 7pm for a “healthy” dinner in the car and stopped again at 10 pm for sugary snacks to keep us awake.  I chose Pop Rocks because they make me laugh and I needed a laugh to balance out the weary day of travel. 

I choose to focus on feeling lucky to be experiencing the East Coast and being with family despite being tired. We’re creating memories, right?  And happiness is a state of mind that we get to choose despite our circumstances, every moment.

I choose happiness.


Happiness Awaits

I was in a bad mood today. I was frustrated and irrational.

Yes, it’s true. Just ask my family. I have my neurotic moments. I hate these feelings as much as they do.

I thought about my post from yesterday about happiness, asking myself if I was happy and I was definitely not, at that moment. I like to practice what I share. I asked myself, “do you want to be happy?” And at that moment I wanted to be mad and did not want to release and let go. I stayed mad and quiet and wanted to feel what I was feeling, but not for long.

I received a text from my friend saying just the right words at the right time. We were supposed to meet up and I was running late.

Wanna know what her text said?

It was so simple and perfect timing.

It said, “Happiness Awaits.” How did she even know? She didn’t and that was a beautiful thing.

That’s all I needed to read to change my angry mind.

I was ready to be happy again and gave myself the rest of the car ride to get over myself.

I decided to make a change. I chose to be happy and believe it or not, was. I let go. I surrendered and enjoyed myself despite what I was feeling 10 minutes before. It was that simple and that sincere. No joke.

Our minds are so flippin’ powerful. We just have to decide what we really want and surrender. We have to be focused and determined and have to fight for what we really want, and not allow our irrational feelings win.

Love wins.

Happiness awaits.

When we choose.

Be happy, BeLoveRs. It’s so much better than the alternative.


It’s Never Too Late to Be hApPy


I like to think of happiness like wanting to be skinny or let’s be real, and maybe just 5-10 pounds lighter.

It’s a journey and a process and takes work and mindfulness and dedication.  Kind of like belonging to Weight Watchers. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could measure our happiness and we learned best practices to help us increase our happiness quota? What if we could join a group and share stories and have measurable goals to increase our happiness?

The cool thing about Weight Watchers is that it is a mind set, a way of thinking about what we eat and why we eat and developing life skills and portion control to enjoy all that is good and to attain healthy weight goals.

What if we could do that with happiness? What if we could set goals and measure and be ok with where we are on our personal journeys?  Wouldn’t that be cool? I’d sign up!! I’d love to join a group that was talking about our happiness goals and sharing our stories and what worked for us and learning from each other, but maybe that would be weird? Just a thought.

What I’ve learned from participating in Weight Watchers, is that we get to choose our goals. We get to choose when we decide to follow the plan and when we decide to cheat and the good news is we can always start again. I also like doing WW with friends and having a leader that guides me and gives out stars for success and measures me each week. What if we could do that with happiness?  Hmm…

I like to think that it’s ok for us to not always be happy. We might be chugging along and doing ok and happy with who we are and what we’re doing, and then some days we’re not. That’s ok and doesn’t mean we have to give up.   I think we just have to give ourselves permission to start again and to do the things we know that create happiness for us.  Just like with weight loss. Some days are good and some days we binge and then we get to begin again.

Every day is a new day to start over. And just because we got mad or are unhappy doesn’t mean we have to stay in that state of mind.  We can begin again just as soon as we are ready.  I love that.  I think we just sometimes need a reminder to let go of the negative and to embrace the positive and do the work that helps create happiness for us. And as we practice, we become successful and happy again.

Believe me, I am not always happy… just ask my kids or my husband! But I always strive for happiness and finding ways to increase the general happiness of my family and to start over to create joy whenever and as often as possible.  I’m still learning and make PLENTY of mistakes.

Luckily it’s never too late to be happy and I choose happiness.  How about you?

“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through. ” Karl Marx (thanks LB)

Be happy, BeLovers!  It’s better than the alternative.  xo


Choose Happiness


This is it.

This guy summarized my existence.

I choose happiness as a way of living and being from minute to minute and share this daily journey with you so that we may practice the pursuit of happiness together.

My life is perfectly imperfect filled with the ups and downs, the yin and the yang, and the daily struggles and fears, just like yours, but not exactly of course, but you know what I mean.

We all get to choose how we react and adapt to what life delivers to us, sometimes fair and sometimes not, sometimes expected and sometimes not. We get to play our way. We don’t get to always choose what comes our way yet we can choose how we react and this is our personal power. I love this. Every minute is another opportunity to start again. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. How do we want to experience this wonderful one life we get to live?

The first part of this quote talks about releasing tension, which sounds like play or exercise to me. I’m sure there are several other ways, but these are the first two healthy options that come to mind. Did you do something to take care of yourself today?

I played volleyball with my girls in the sunshine and smiled and laughed and served hard serves and missed some hard hits. I high-fived my friends and shared some mixed nuts that Debbie brought to share that we all love. Thanks, Deb.

How about being present? When and how were you really present today? I’m highly distracted and not always present. This one was more challenging today as I was in a hurry. I was present when I was volunteering at the rummage sale and joking with Laura and April as we sorted through stuff together. I loved that Laura was really trying to sell us on her husband’s unused shirts and how she wanted us to take them home. I took her up on her offer – no shame! I loved that we had so many volunteers sorting and stacking and organizing and working together and that when I have a shout out to all of is for our hard work that everyone started clapping. I had fun joking around with everyone and seeing April picking out a pink dress Halloween costume and parading around in a little blue dress. I loved that we picked a rummage sale mascot from the piles, a little undressed dirty doll with freaked out crazy hair and “makeup” all over her face and head and body. She was the craziest thing we found and then it got even funnier when Laura asked is why her donation was sitting on the side with our personal belongings. Hahaha! That was funny.

Next on the list is amplifying love. What do you think that means? I think that means turning up the love and sharing it. Hmm… Did you practice that today? I have to think about that one… I make my husband laugh. Does that count? I like to de stress our household and am always being silly and laughing at myself and my own jokes which makes him laugh. I like to make him dance with me which usually lasts 30 seconds but puts us in both in a good mood. Maybe that counts…not sure though. Laughing is contagious and usually he’s soon laughing with me. I love when he makes me laugh too. Laughter definitely helps us to de stress and release tension — ooh, a two for one special!

Generating enthusiasm is next on the happiness list. Are you good at this? I am good at this most of the time, or at least I fool myself. I love being a cheerleader and encouraging everyone to play nicely together. And I love to get people excited to be doing what we’re doing, whatever it is we choose to do. Today I generated excitement amongst the rummage sale volunteers, cheering and clapping and thanking everyone for being there. I made fun of myself and the crazy donations, while being thankful for our generous community.

And finally gratitude. What were you thankful for today? Did you tell someone? I love being thanked and I love thanking others. I thanked April for going to Costco for me today and saving me some time and probably a ton of money. It’s so nice to have a wife! Everyone should have one. Thank you wifey!!

So that’s easy, isn’t it? We can develop these skills and practice this happiness thing every day, by being mindful, drinking 8 glasses of water and getting plenty of sleep for starters.

Be happy my friends. xoxoxo

Day 250: Living It Up at The Atlantis, Dubai


Who would have thought when we decided to move to Holland that we would get to discover so many other parts of the world? I Am amazed!!

Today we spent the entire day at the Atlantis Hotel with Patti Beth and her family. We started off at the Aqua Adventure water park and stayed there until it closed at sundown. We all had huge smiles floating down the lazy river, falling down huge slides, and dropping in on the sharks. Everyone was warm and happy in the water.

Afterwards, we explored the Lost Chambers, an aquarium inside the hotel that was amazing. Every display was interesting to see and watching the sharks swim with schools of fish was mesmerizing. There were a few touch tanks where we touched sea stars, horse shoe crabs, and small rays.

The hotel itself is like Disneyland. I especially loved the Chihuly glass display in the lobby. The kids and the adults were all having fun together and still wanted to hang out, so we ventured out to the Royal Pool and let the kids go night swimming until they closed it down. It was a gorgeous warm night, so we chose to sit outside and enjoy a Mexican dinner together.

We enjoyed our day in the sun – not too hot and definitely not cold.

Life is good.