Tag Archives: blessings

Happy Happenings – January 2017

31 Jan

A few years ago I took part in a 60 day Facebook group happiness challenge hosted by a fitness/wellness counselor. The whole basis of the challenge was learning to let go and move past the things that have hurt us in the past, that we may be holding onto still, and that are preventing us to be fully happy in the present. During the course of those 60 days, we had homework and weekly activities that we were required to complete in order to remain in the program. As a result of those exercises, I learned a lot about myself.

One of our challenges was to notice and publicly share three things each day that brought us joy or made us happy, not matter how big or how small. At first, finding three positive things was a challenge, but then it switched to how do you choose only three! When I was drafting my end of year post for 2016, I was recalling all of the negative things that had happened, but I could hardly remember the positive, and that was devastating. In that moment, I decided it was once again time to focus on happiness.

Beginning on January 1, I shared my three things, and from that day on, I have shared three or more things that blessed my life or brought me joy. It was amazing to see how my outlook on life shifted, and how my small acts of gratitude became contagious within my little sphere of Facebook. Over this month, many have reached out to say how much they enjoy reading my “Happy Happenings” each day and how it is nice to see some positivity in a world full of evil.

My goal is to compile all of these moments through the year so that I will have them to look back on when New Year’s Eve rolls around again. I want to be overflowing with happiness and joy and blessings from a fantastic 2017. And I want to share this positive energy with all of you, so without further ado, here are January’s Happy Happenings!

  1. Spent the first 45 minutes of the new year lighting sparklers with Scott and Macayla.
  2. The worship band sang one of my favorite songs this morning – “Whom Shall I Fear” by Chris Tomlin.
  3. Traditional pigs in the blanket for lunch to bring good luck! img_0020
  4. Boys vs. girls Catch Phrase round 2 with Scott, Mom , dad , Megan and Austin.
  5. Last day to sleep in for holiday break.
  6. Trying a new recipe with Scott and it was delicious!
  7. Quiet time reading before bed.
  8. Was slightly amused when I discovered my scarf and hair bow perfectly matched the color of my work water bottle. I may like that color just a little! 😂🙈
  9. The Well was FANTASTIC tonight!! Such a beautiful Women’s Ministry is happening at DFC. Tonight we brought our shame into the light so it won’t discolor or discourage us in the new year. By bringing it to the light, it loses its power. 🙏🏻
  10. 9 minute power workout in my bedroom! Little steps = future big rewards! 💪🏻
  11. Seeing my work friends after a wonderful week off! Missed them!
  12. Tried a new recipe for dinner – vegan stuffed peppers and they were FANTASTIC!
  13. How cute it is when Scotty falls asleep on my shoulder while we’re watching TV. (I love you, hun!!!) 😍😘❤️
  14. My sister Megan officially KICKED CANCER’s butt!!! 5 years clean!! God is Good!!!
  15. A box of doTERRA essential oils was delivered. Love how these oils are safe and allow me to replace medicine – all natural healing and wellness is a game changer for me!
  16. Made it home safely on the slippery roads today.
  17. Joined my church’s challenge to memorize 24 scriptures in 12 months. The verse I’ve selected for the first half of the month is pictured.img_0042
  18. IT’S FRIDAY!
  19. Got a mile workout in during lunch on the walking desk treadmill in the library.
  20. Chocolate – enough said!
  21. Successfully packed all of our Christmas things in one bin! Christmas Tetris level- master.
  22. Reminiscing about past Christmas ornaments while taking them down is almost as fun as reminiscing while putting them up. Fun time helping mom pack away the “sister” tree.
  23. Yiruma iheartradio station while doing dishes is so relaxing.
  24. Chilly nights means adding another blanket to the bed. Busted out my 2005 “Let it snow” seminary blanket and had to laugh remembering all the chilly mornings with Aunt Khristy and Manda studying scriptures before school.
  25. Saw a rainbow while driving to my parents’ house this morning.
  26. Not sure how it started, but Megan, mom, dad and I ended up quoting most of the movie “Jingle All the Way” on the drive home from church.
  27. Sunday afternoon naps are the best!
  28. A coworker surprised us and brought in homemade coffee cake! Yumm!
  29. An Aldi opened up nearby and I had my first successful solo shopping trip there tonight.
  30. Going to bed BEFORE 11:30 p.m.
  31. I get so much joy from purging the office of 5 year old papers, projects and posters. Why were we holding onto all of that stuff?!
  32. All the girls at the office loved my LuLaRoe leggings and Carlie dress! Super cute, comfy and warm!
  33. Best cousin-in-law award tonight goes to Michael!! Thank you for coming over to jump start Scott’s car! We really appreciate it! And thanks for bringing Manda so we could chat and the boys so I could listen to them yell/sing through the window!
  34. Made it to work with enough time to sit, observe and snap a photo of God’s beautiful sunrise. #nofilter img_0049
  35. The custodians did a FANTASTIC job deep cleaning my new office!
  36. Listening to the soothing sound of piano music.
  37. First full day of work in my BRAND NEW OFFICE SPACE! After a year and a half with no walls or door, it’s so nice to have a private, comfortable, creative space of my own! Goodbye cubicle!!
  38. So much joy comes from crossing items off my to-do list! Felt so productive today.
  39. Nothing better than coming home on a chilly evening and curling up with a warm blanket and cheesy hallmark movie!
  40. Peppermint and Motivate in my diffuser at work – one of my new favorite blends!
  41. First time making eggplant parmigiana and it wasn’t horrible!
  42. Watched “Singin’ in the Rain” with Scotty!!!! ☂️🌧💧
  43. Fresh mango for breakfast! My favorite fruit!
  44. Saturday outfit of choice – LuLaRoe leggings and an Irma! Stylish, warm and comfy!
  45. Game night with Macayla, Mason, Scotty, Mom and dad. We laughed so hard while playing the marble game, 5 Second Rule and Apples to Apples. Great Saturday night! img_0059
  46. All caught up on The Bachelor drama.
  47. Michael to the rescue…again. Scott and I really appreciate it!
  48. Trying out my new diffuser – enjoying the smells of Wild Orange and Purify.
  49. Green smoothies are DELICIOUS!
  50. Friendly lady at the grocery store let me go in front of her because I only had two items and she had a heaping cart.
  51. Blogging
  52. The rain stopped and the sun came out right at 5 pm as I was leaving work.
  53. I love designing and interacting with the students on our various social media accounts.
  54. New year means turning over a new leaf at work – stepped outside my comfort zone and presented a few ideas I’ve been playing with. Not only were they accepted, I was complimented for my creativity and diversity.
  55. Collaborating as a team means our events will be that much cooler!
  56. Disney pointing to direct a lost student to the building she needed.
  57. Submitting an assignment a day early. Now to read 100 pages and write a journal (700-800 words) all before Sunday! Bring it on spring semester!
  58. Warm blankets
  59. Scott had dinner nearly finished when I got home from work – tried a new veggie burger recipe. Next time we’ll leave the sunflower seeds out – GROSS (I picked all mine out!)
  60. Relaxing shower before bed.
  61. Had a great meeting with the center for nursing research.
  62. Had a fantastic conference call with alumni relations and advancement. Both are onboard for an upcoming project!
  63. Had a great night at Dave & Busters kicking off Megan’s birthday weekend.
  64. Loved seeing all the photos of my cousin, Erin, who graduated from basic training on her mom’s (Aunt Anita’s birthday!)
  65. Megan thanks for letting me get my puppy fix this morning! Archie is lovable and ADORABLE!!
  66. Had a pretty good hair day! Sorry, no photos!
  67. Celebrated my wonderful, fantastic momma’s birthday with hibachi and froyo! Love you so very much mom and hope you had the most perfect birthday! img_0094
  68. Watching Megan and Austin attempt the bicycle challenge = HYSTERICAL!
  69. Great message today in church all about God’s promises!
  70. Celebrated Megan’s birthday with a delicious meal made by mom , with ice cream cake for dessert! Happy birthday lil sis! Hope it was as super duper cool as you are! Make this year 100% awesome!!img_0096
  71. Submitted my homework on time! It was a close call, I was worried I wouldn’t make it! Week 1 done!
  72. Seeing Grandma and Papa after they’ve been away on vacation for 3 weeks! Great to have them home!
  73. We pulled off a FANTASTIC birthday party for the college today complete with a message from our president and musical entertainment provided by the Men’s Chorus!
  74. At said birthday party, two different papers (local and student media) were there to cover the event as a result of my media alert! First time the local paper has come to anything I’ve invited them to at the college!
  75. Extra cupcakes from the birthday party meant I was sent home with a to-go box to share with Scott!
  76. Coverage of our birthday party was on the front page (just below the fold) of the paper. And yes, that is me in the photo the paper selected. As you can see, I really was broadcasting it live on Facebook! Hahaha!
  77. Splitting a left-over cupcake with a coworker for a much-needed afternoon sugar boost!
  78. Being “kid napped” by Manda on a quick trip to Walmart. It was fun to laugh and catchup!
  79. Thanks dad for reminding me how to check the tire pressure in my car! You’re the best!
  80. Happy birthday to my Disney Sister, Kellan! Had a blast chatting tonight!
  81. Thank you Michael for taking care of the pesky nail in my tire! You are a FANTASTIC mechanic! img_0579
  82. Ordering lunch from my phone at my desk and having it ready by the time I had walked over to the Student Center to pick it up! No waiting in the 20 minute line – FastPass, work edition!
  83. Discovering we had all of the ingredients necessary to make garlic kale veggie burgers WITHOUT a trip to the grocery store! It’s the little things in life! 🙂
  84. Great breakfast meeting at Bob Evans with a coworker and the woman a prestigious College of Nursing award is named after.
  85. Great comment from my Dean as I was heading out the door all smiles on my way to a meeting: “Give you a little freedom and you’re flying around building relationships and making connections!” She told me she’s always thought my work was good, but now, she’s seeing a happier, more creative and idea-producing side emerge!
  86. At said meeting, got my ad approved with only minor revisions to make!
  87. Nothing beats ending your night with a banana chocolate peanut butter smoothie! (Made with 1 frozen banana, almond milk, PB2 chocolate, and chocolate protein powder.)
  88. Singing along to my favorite songs on the radio on my way to work!
  89. So proud of my friend, Tracy! She’s the first nursing student to guest blog for the college and her post went live today!
  90. Pizza and cheesy TV sitcoms are the best way to spend a Friday evening after a long work week!
  91. Thankful for the firefighters who leave their warm beds in the middle of the night to keep me and my neighbors safe. Watching as they check out and clear the building across from mine as it’s alarms were going off. photo
  92. Surprise visit from my dad . It was nice having time to chat, just the two of us! Love you, dad!
  93. Afternoon nap
  94. Finally deciding the topic for my final project in my PR History and Modern world class.
  95. Laughing and joking around with Macayla and Mason! I love seeing how happy he makes her and how comfortable he is in our family dynamic!
  96. Dad and mom sent me home with leftover stuffed peppers and now I don’t have to pack a lunch for work tomorrow!
  97. Journal and final project proposal both submitted before the deadline! Learning so much in the class already and we’ve only just finished week 2!
  98. Angie encouraged me and I encouraged her to go on the “mindful mile” walk at noon with the wellness group. It may have been only 20 degrees, but once we got moving, talking and laughing, the time flew and we couldn’t believe how fast that mile went! img_0581
  99. Had a great workout on the treadmill tonight. It was also great having the whole apartment fitness facility to myself!
  100. Finally all caught up (with the exception of tonight’s episode) on The Bachelor!
  101. My nameplate arrived and looks wonderful on my office door! NOW it feels like my office!
  102. Discussing all the drama that is The Bachelor with my work friends.
  103. While I typically enjoy going to the gym alone, it was nice having Scott tag along this time! We each did our own workouts, but it was nice spending that time working on our physical health together.
  104. After 31 days in a row, my iPad now products “Happy happenings from today” and that makes me so happy!
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Oh Come Let Us Adore

24 Dec

Breathe in. Breathe out. Relax. Repeat.

How often do we let ourselves do that during the busy holiday season? I would bet most of us are too busy racing around for the perfect gift, creating a Pinterest worthy holiday dinner or just trying to keep it all together on the outside while we slowly fall apart on the inside.

Often, I fall into the latter category. Holidays are proving to be hard for me this year being out on my own, I saw that last month with Thanksving. There will be some who don’t understand this struggle, and that’s okay. It’s just that had I known last Christmas would be the last Christmas morning I woke up in my childhood bedroom, if I’d known last Christmas was the last time I would wait for my family to all go to bed before I snuck my gifts downstairs and sat looking at our tree in the quiet for an hour, I would have appreciated it so much more. I have been so focused on everything I’m going to miss – late night holiday baking, Santa’s footprints, my parent’s house at Christmas, when I really should have been focused on the reason for the season.

Thank goodness earlier this month we had a meeting at The Well, the women’s ministry that meets each month at church. The theme – Oh Come Let Us Adore. Perfect! Before we entered the sanctuary, we were reminded of the symbols of Jesus in the holiday decorations – the red to represent the blood Christ shed on the cross to pay for our sins; green, specifically in evergreens, to signify everlasting life; the pointy leaves of the poinsettia plant to remind us of the thorns that adorn Christ’s head. Hearing this was a wake up call…Christmas is all about the cross. (Oddly enough, I just found a song by that same title a few days ago by The Ball Brothers, trust me, you’ll need tissues!) And then they let us into the sanctuary as the worship band softly sang “Oh Come Let Us Adore.”

Our hostesses gave us two gifts that night – first, a time to relax and worship; and second, prayer. On our seats were little cards that said “Adore” and during the service they asked us to write down what we needed prayers for. We didn’t have to add our names, just what was on our heart, and then drop that card into the basket. At the end of the service, we each drew one card and were asked to pray for that sister in Christ, for whatever she had written on her card.

Lord, I lift this sister up to you. I don’t know her name or the extent of her struggles, but you do. I ask that you enfold her in peace, comfort, and strength. Help her to remove her worries and troubles from the basket she carries daily and place them in your hands. Lord, help her to see others as you see them. Help her to choose her words and actions wisely, and to be conscious of other’s feelings, thoughts and desires. Let her know that she is never alone – she can turn to you at any time, day or night and you will be there to listen to her. Help her to know your unending, unconditional, all-encompassing love, the kind of love a daughter can only receive from her Heavenly Father. Lord, help her to be wise and strong, and to know that surrendering to you is not a weakness but an act of unwavering faith. Lord, be with her tonight. If there is anger, hurt or resentment in her spirit, I ask that it be removed and replaced with openness, kindness, acceptance and understanding. Help her feel peace and joy at home. Be with this sister, reminding her that You are the Light of the World, the reason for the season,  the Greatest Gift of All.

That night was exactly what my troubled heart needed, and I too, have felt the prayers of a sister in Christ as she prayed over my card. I am so blessed to have this church family to help me grow in my faith. And it was even more wonderful that I was able to spend this amazing evening with my extended family and that we could all be blessed and strengthened together.

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There’s always something to be thankful for

25 Nov

Today much of the country participated in Thanksgiving, a day dedicated to sharing and acknowledging the many ways we have been blessed. Many families woke up this morning and started their festivities with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, followed by a dinner of turkey and all the fixings. The number of people sharing in the festivities isn’t important, but rather it is who is there that is important. 

Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember, probably because I am blessed to be part of a family that is extremely close, not just in distance from each other, but in our relationships. It is not uncommon for my family to get-together as a large group multiple times a year. We just love being together – there’s laughter, joy, stories and fun. WIth open arms we accept and adopt friends, neighbors and anyone who needs to be loved, which if you think a about it – that’s everyone. And that extends to our Thanksgiving table as well. Over the years there have been any number of new faces who have joined our celebration and we embraced them as only my family can!

This year, I will admit I struggled with Thanksgiving. It’s the first major holiday we’ve celebrated since Scott and I moved into our apartment (for the purpose of this blog, Forth of July and Halloween aren’t major holidays). Last night, there was no smell of pumpkin pies, pumpkin logs or mincemeat pie baking in the oven. I woke up this morning and there was no parade to be watched (we only have Netflix) and there was no arguing with my sisters over who would get to use the bathroom first to get ready. It felt like any other day of the week to me. Scott and I got ready and drove out to meet my family. I hoped that once we were all together, I would find whatever was missing this year. 

Once at the church (there are just too many at our Thanksgiving dinner to fit in a house, we counted 42 this year!), even the setup was different. For my entire life, we have all sat at one table and passed the dished around. This year, it was buffet style. Honestly, my first reaction was that the tradition was ruined. But in the end, it ended up allowing everyone to sample a little bit of everything (in years’ past, there were dishes that never quite made it all the way to the other end of the table) and everyone was eating much sooner. 

    

One tradition that remained is the olive finger photo – my sisters, cousin and now her son, and my aunt, always put black olives on our fingers and take silly photos during dinner. This has happened ever since I was a small child.


The other tradition that remained firmly in place was that of going around the table and one-by-one sharing the things we are most thankful for. Listening to everyone always fills my heart with joy as I hear their touching words – some spoke about challenges with health, car accidents, the loss of loved ones, but what they all ended with was the strength of this family that has continued to pull them through. 

While I started the day feeling as if today were nothing special, I end the night reminded of what is most important – faith, family, friends and memories. It was not easy letting go of tradition, but today is truly about creating a new tradition and memory every year. 

This was the first Thanksgiving Scott has gotten to spend with me and my family. He has been such a blessing to me as we made the transition to living together away from our families, and continues to be my rock as I have gone back to school to get my master’s degree. He has embraced my family and they him. I could not be surrounded by a better group of people – just check out the photos!

This Thanksgiving was also special because we got to spend part of it with my cousin, Erin, who will be enlisting in the Air Force in just a few days! We are so very proud of her and will miss having her around, but know she will be where she needs to be, following in the footsteps of others in our family who were absent from the table this year, but who are always with us in heart and mind.  

Bringing Down My Demons

7 Jan

Today has been one of those days where I am more than grateful for the little blessings in my life. They remind me that I have it so easy compared to so many others in this world. And today, when I needed just a little bit of encouraging and strength, it wasn’t in short supply, and for that I have no words.

It would be an understatement to say that 2012 ended on a stressful note for me, and while I don’t want to go into details too much, just know that I have spent months wrestling with my own demons. The ones that tell me I’m not pretty or funny or smart enough, and that’s why my heart was broken. Other demons that tell me that at 24 years of age I should have more to show for my time on this Earth. I should have accomplished more at this point. I should be creating and living this fantastic life. And then there are the demons that tell me I’ll never make it in the professional world, or for that matter, the adult world because I’m too weak, emotional or simply because I will never be ready to be out on my own. We each have our fair share of demons, and I don’t know about yours, but mine know exactly what words to say, images to bring to mind and the best moment to deliver their message so it will leave me crumpled on the bathroom floor in a puddle of tears.

So after months of “just going through the motions” of life, I am retaking control. I read somewhere once that no one controls your own happiness but you, and I’m going to put that to the test in 2013. This year I want to meet myself. I honestly don’t think I’d know me if we happened to meet on the street. I want to become reacquainted with who I am, learn what things bring me the greatest joy, discover my hidden talents and channel my inner DIY Goddess. This year is dedicated to my own personal growth. I want to learn to accept myself, flaws and all. I want to learn to love myself without focusing and obsessing on the negatives in my past. I want to turn a new page, begin a new chapter, a happier chapter.

I know it will be a challenge in more ways than one, but like the saying goes “nothing worth having is easy to get.” I may get discouraged and lose faith in myself. But with the support and encouragement of my family, friends and online community, I know there’s nothing that can stop me.

Especially when I know that on days like today when I’m feeling low, out of the blue, there will be positive “thinking of you” messages and compliments pertaining to issues I was stressing over. For example, at work today, I was told I looked beautiful a few times and that my new makeover (courtesy of my little sisters) was stunning. Then I was confirmed a full-time employee. I have officially graduated from office intern. Maybe I am beautiful and maybe I can take on the precessional world and not get trampled, but one thing I know for sure….without putting myself out there and giving it a try, I’ll never know if I can or not.

Time to leave the past in 2012 where it belongs, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013!!