The Happy 101 Award!
A big THANK YOU to Jessica at Adventures of a Wife and Mommy for this really thought provoking award!
In order to accept the Happy 101 award, I must share with you all 10 things that make me happy and pick 10 sites that make me happy as well!
These are 10 things that make me happy:
1. My husband. He is my best friend and really, someone who I really enjoy sharing my life with. I am so lucky to have found him nineteen(!) years ago. It has been quite a ride, but I love that we have shared half of our lives together! There isn't a special moment that he hasn't been there to share it with me.
2. My sons. Each of them has enriched my life in a myriad of ways. They each have made me grow (and not just around the waist, either!) and push myself out of my comfort zone. Because of them, I made myself learn how to swim at age 33, have held a live snake, go to football games (and enjoy them), go to car shows to drool over V-6 engines, and can still catch grasshoppers.
3. My relationship with my sister. Truly, she is my best friend. She is the most kind, loving person I know. Her generous heart and infectious laugh are always a source of comfort and pride. As she has gotten older and become a mother as well, our bond has only gotten stronger. I shudder to think of what my life would have been like if she had not been my sister, and yet, I know deep in my heart that we would have become best friends anyway!
4. My in-laws. All of them! My husband's family has blessed me in so many ways. John's parents are the most wonderful parents. They have always treated me as though I was their own daughter, and that has always touched my heart. I often pray that I will have the same wisdom they have shown over the years as they were raising John and his brother, Bill.
Bill and his wife, Susan, are people that I really miss not having live closer to us. We make an effort to vacation together once a year, or, at the very least, see each other as often as we can. But I think that the E girls (mom and daughters in law) need to get away (like to New York or Chicago!) for a weekend, soon! What do you say girls?
My sister's husband's family is just as loving and encompassing. My boys, through marriage, have so many aunts and uncles to love and share in their childhood. I wonder if they know what a blessing it is to have a family, and more importantly, to cherish them and the moments that we get to share with them. I love them so!
5. My nieces. Alexandra and Allison are the proverbial cupcakes of our family. They are precious girls: an incredible gift to us. In many ways, they remind me of my sister and I when we were very young. They already know that Tia will shower them with love and understanding and I can't wait until they get older and we can take girls only trips. I am proud of the mother my sister has become, and there isn't a thing I wouldn't do for those beautiful pieces of my heart.
6. My job. I know, not too many people really enjoy what they do for a living. But I cannot imagine doing anything else with my life. When I look out into that classroom and at those eager faces, I know I am right where I belong. Sure, I fantasize about being some high powered attorney or the advertising phenomenon I could have been, but none of those other jobs would have given me so much joy.
7. My friends. There are many categories for these. Old friends, work friends, school friends, parent organization friends, church friends, blogging friends, friends of friends. Regardless of their description, they are important. They each offer something unique to my life. Their opinions, jokes, experiences, stories, advice, perspectives and mostly, their friendship, keep this lady smiling and supported.
8. Cooking. As soon as the school bell announces the end of the school year, I turn into a kitchen fiend. I try out all kinds of stuff for the grown-ups and travel through our taste buds. The kids don't appreciate the fine points of international cuisine, and honestly, that's just fine with us. We won't have to share until they catch on!
9. Traveling. I LOVE to go exploring to new places and find the nuances of the city, where important history has taken place, the restaurants with the best food (which, BTW, are usually holes in the wall's, but the food, heavenly, I assure you!). One of the best trips John and I have ever taken was to New Orleans two years ago. I re-read Anne Rice's The Witching Hour and traced the steps of the Mayfair Family through the French Quarter, the Garden District, etc. and visited the house Anne Rice wrote the book in! I know, I am a nerd!
10. Reading. As a child, I would read anything that I could get my hands on, even the cereal box, my love for words is so great. Today, I am so happy if I am engrossed in a rich story, with all kinds of twists and turns. Because, for a little bit, I am transported out of me. I am in a foreign country, experiencing their culture, someone's else's life. Very voyeuristic, but very enlightening.
There are quite a few blogs that I follow. But there is something about the ones that I choose that always provide me with a sense of satisfaction, whether it is a giggle, or a deeply thought provoking post that will change the way that I perceive something from now on.
Here they are:
1. Liz at ...but then I had kids. Liz is a coworker (and friend) who first ventured out into the blogging world over a year ago. Her perspective of motherhood is simplistic and honest. If you have never visited her blog, you must.
2. Kitch at The Kitchen Witch. This woman is hysterical, but her recipes are nothing to laugh about. This is seriously good stuff. And once in a while, she will draw on her bartending experience and whip out an intoxicating drink...No holds barred, in the kitchen or out.
3. Becca at Drama for Mama. Becca's focus on her children and her life always make me look inside of myself, to question my reasoning, to bring out the best in me. Her anecdotes of mothering two is honest, real, and funny.
4. Linda at Bar Mitzvahzilla. Life with a teenage boy is good blog fodder. She keeps it real, makes you laugh, and you take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.
5. ck at Bad Mommy Moments. If you have never read her blog, stop what you are doing right now, and click on the link. Seriously. Why are you still reading this?
6. Kristen at Motherese. Thought-provoking, honest blogging about parenting. Her latest project, besides finding her style, is to have us thinking about raising happy children. Check her out soon!
7. Jen and Sarah at Momalom. Fearless, funny, sister bloggers who are gathering up bloggers for their Five For Ten Event that is fast approaching.
8. Nap at Naptime Writing. Her descriptions of motherhood, pregnancy and delivery of Butter are a riot.
9. Betsy at The Zen Mama's Blog. Finding Zen leads to happiness and seemingly easier approaches to parenting. A must read!
10. JennyMac at Let's have a cocktail. Seriously funny stuff. JennyMac's adventures are legendary!
May your heart be warmed with those things that make you smile!