Friday, January 28, 2011

this morning

This morning, I woke up with a killer headache. As the reality of getting up to fix school lunches, take the dog outside to poo, and feeding Ella breakfast loomed over me, I muttered to Rhett, "I'll give you a hundred bucks if you let me sleep in." I would have offered a thousand bucks if we had it. And, sweetly, he let me sleep for free. And I slept until 8:30 am. And then, he gently woke me up, and my headache was gone. That was a nice way to hit the "rewind" button and start over again.

At this very moment, I'm sitting here avoiding the work that I get paid for... web development. I need to stop goofing off and get to work already. There is money to be made! And clients to satisfy! And all I have to do is refill my coffee cup, turn on my iPod, and GET. TO. IT.

Truth be told, my iPod has been blasting away for a while already. This song came up in my playlist, and I had to share.

I love this song. I love this version. New beginnings. Fresh starts. Being bold. I want to be bold.

Rhett's new job isn't just an opportunity for him. It's an opportunity for our entire family. It feels like a fresh start for all of us, really. We now have some stability again. We have a better foundation in which to build our future upon. And selfishly, this gives me the chance to figure out MY next move.  Do I expand my business? Do I pull out all the stops to become a *gasp* professional blogger? Do I take classes somewhere and learn something entirely new that makes my heart sing? The options and opportunities are wide open. I can be bold... if I have the guts.

I'm excited for this new chapter. Truly. I feel like it's going to be GREAT.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rhett is now employed!!!!

Rhett got the job. I can't stop crying with happy. Really. I look like a hot mess. But, the tears just keep rolling down my face because I'm just so very relieved. I can't believe this is over. Finally.

There will be health insurance immediately. There's a bonus program. There are 20 days off per year. And there's more that we just haven't had a chance to comb through yet. But, it's ALL GOOD!

Thank you God/the Universe/whoever's in charge! I'm sorry I had moments of doubt and fear. I'm still working on believing and faith. I'm getting better, though. Just be patient with me. But, then again, I know you will be. :)


Let me tell you a story. A couple of years ago, I remember telling Rhett that I wanted a big ol' enameled cast iron Dutch oven. I scoured the stores and the internet, looking for a really inexpensive option. Because, after all, who in the hell has nearly $300 for a Dutch oven? Like... really? Only rich people. That's who. And we are not/were not rich, so... that's that.

The least expensive one that I ever found was on sale for about $59.99, and I STILL hated to spend that kind of cash on a pot. If I was Martha Stewart and made fancy dinners in that pot, then maybe. But, no. I was Jenny Joy. I was not fancy and only a mediocre cook. I shouldn't own such a fancy thing. So, I forgot about it and just quit looking.

Fast forward several months to my birthday. Rhett graced me with a box that was so big and heavy, it made my heart race. I hesitantly opened that box to find this:

This, my good friends, is a top of the line, cherry red Le Creuset Dutch oven (I think the Le Creuset folks call it a "French" oven, but let's face it... it's a Dutch oven.) These are expensive. REALLY, REALLY fricken' expensive. I was shocked. And then I panicked about the money that he spent on it. And then I cried because it was so expensive, but I didn't want to be ungrateful or rude. So, as I turned ashen white, I gave him a big ol' kiss, thanked him, and felt my heart pounding out of my chest.

So, what's the point of this story? I didn't feel worthy AT ALL. It was too fancy for someone like me. But, as time passed, I learned to lurve it so. I've used this pot so many times to feed my family warm, comforting meals. Ever time I take it out of the cabinet, I swoon a little. I feel so darned fancy, it's ridiculous. And I remember that I'm loved fiercely. What I haven't told you is that Rhett saved for many months, a few dollars at a time, for that Dutch oven. He tore the internet to pieces looking for a killer deal... and he found it. He even schemed with his mother to use her credit card to pay for it so it wouldn't show up on our bank account, making it a true surprise and not sending me into cardiac arrest when finding such a charge on the bank statement.

Last night, I used it to make chicken and noodles.

There's not a darn thing in the world that makes me happier than to have stuff bubbling away in this pot. Seriously. So, I don't make super fancy meals in my Le Creuset. But my family loves just about everything that has ever come out of that pot... chicken and noodles included.

Thank you, Rhett. Thank you for making me feel fancy. Thank you for moving heaven and earth to give me such an incredible gift. Thank you for helping me feel worthy of something I thought I would never deserve. I love you.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

waiting. and waiting. and waiting.

Rhett's final interview went really, really well. He gave me many examples of why he thought it might actually have a favorable outcome. And truthfully, it sounds like he's got a good shot at this!

We don't know exactly when we'll hear the final decision. But, in my mind, it can't come soon enough. So help me, I want to be able to let out that big, huge EXHALE of relief when we know that it's all going to be okay. Ya know?

And a huge THANK YOU to all the people who are crossing fingers, toes, and all other crossable body parts for us. I appreciate it more than you could ever know!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

needing prayers, mojo, vibes or whatever you've got

Rhett got a call today. He's a finalist for the job with the insurance company/brokerage services firm. There is only one other person in the running. Rhett goes in at 10:00 am tomorrow morning to meet with the president of the company, and we have no idea when the other interview is or when we'll receive the final word.

On one hand...

- I'm SOOOOO excited for him! *squee*
- I can't get over the fact that these folks have been so good about the application and interview process. Truly, there has been no red tape and no BS at all! Their efficiency with all of it has been downright inspiring!
- This would mean we could have health insurance the very first day he walks in the door for work!
- He would get the chance to work doing graphic design, which is what he wants more than anything else in the entire world. He's been focused on other things (like web technology and such) for so long, and this would give him the chance to do what he loves. Graphics, graphics, and more graphics.

On the other hand...

- I'm so nervous I can hardly stand it. No. Seriously. My anxiety about it all is through the roof. I'm honestly thinking about breaking out the Ativan. It's that bad.
- This is one of those situations in which I have absolutely NO control at all whatsoever, and I have to just trust that the Universe is going to do the right thing for us.
- Have I ever mentioned that I HATE not having any control at all whatsoever? I like to have a say in the outcome of really important things in my life. So, the uneasy, watch on the sidelines feeling just... well... it sucks.

So, this is the part in which I ask for prayers, good mojo, vibes, or whatever you've got for me. I want so much for all this unemployment stuff to be OVER with. I want to know when the next paycheck is coming. And if we're going to have to move. Or if we get to stay in this house that I've grown to love so much. And all the stuff that comes with a big life change. I want the stress to melt away. I need stability.

Dear God/the Universe/whoever is in charge:

First of all, thank you for taking care of us thus far. During this ordeal, we've always had food to eat, a roof over our heads, and lots of people loving and supporting us. If you could, please let Rhett land a job that he'll love and will help him feel creative and vital again. Please help all this happen sooner than later because the anxiety and stress is becoming just too much.

Thank you,

Monday, January 24, 2011

gut wrenching honesty

Today has not been a good day. I won't go into too many details, as it really serves no purpose other than to hear myself rant and rave.

Long story short:

- I'm in a bad mood. I'm TRYING to find my happy, but today, it's hiding. Far, far away.
- I've spent my entire afternoon fighting with the hospital billing people. Enough said. *barf*
- Someone let me down today. It's a reminder that *I* am the only person that I can truly count on. But, that's a sad way to live, isn't it?
- Did I mention that I'm in a bad mood?

Okay... enough of the pity party. Things will absolutely, positively be better tomorrow. Solutions will arise. I will figure things out. My good mood will return. It's not going to be hard forever. Until then, I think I'll have a little Coke with my rum*.

* I promise I'm not an alcoholic. But, after a day like this, a drink is definitely in order!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


This weekend, I've done so little, it's almost embarrassing. Here's what I *have* done.

- I've watched hours and hours of tv. Sitting next to my husband. Winking at him every now and again. I'm going to resist the urge to feel guilty about it.
- I went on a "date" last night with Mr. Handsome, Ella and Macey. (The boys went to bio-mom's house for the weekend.) We ate at Carlos O'Kelley's and then picked up a bunch of necessities at Walfart. The girls dressed up and felt soooooo fancy. You know... for our trip to Walfart. *snort*
- After our date, we sat on the couch and watched "Hoarders". Then, I looked at all my clutter all over the place and didn't feel so darned bad. It could be so much worse.
- I made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins late last night. We ate those muffins for breakfast this morning. They were amaaaaaaaazing.
- Rhett let me sleep late this morning. It was so nice not to wake up with an alarm clock or a toddler or a puppy in my face. Although, really, none of those scenarios are really bad at all. :)
- There is a LOT of dancing going on in my kitchen right now. That definitely gives me a case of the smiles.
- Next up today? Sewing some more for Ella's room. Until recently, I hadn't used my sewing machine in ages. Sometimes I forget how much I really love to sew. Very Martha Stewart of me, no?

Happy weekend, folks. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

stuff i love

I realize that I'm not supposed to love "stuff". But, there are some things in this world that make my heart so darned happy, it's ridiculous. Beaming happy. Content happy. Just plain happy.

Charlie is eating! And running! And playing! YAY!!!! *ahem* I was starting to worry yesterday. I'm not worried at all anymore.

I pink puffy heart LOVE this book. I read it to Ella almost every night. And who knew that Julie Andrews could actually write?!

My favorite quote?

"I say you can be anything you want to be. You just have to let your SPARKLE out!"

No truer words have ever been written.

These are my boots. I love these boots. I wear them religiously, all winter long. Can you tell? HA! They are so comfortable and sturdy and.. and.. and.. I'll spare you an ode to boots, but I just lurve them so. (Along with the scrolly boot tray they are sitting on that keeps my floors from being a sloppy, wet mess when the frozen tundra has made it's way to Kansas.)

I love silly faces from toddlers who tend to over-accessorize. She sure does know how to rock a hair bow, fuzzy scarf, and TONS of jewelry like no other kidlet I've ever known. You can't even see the pink sparkle shoes she's sportin'. She's got spunk, I tell ya. I doubt that she will ever struggle to be an individual. She's absolutely, positively already there. She is so herself.

I have to admit, I've really enjoyed walking around the house this morning, looking for things that make me smile. I might have to make this a weekly post. I dunno. We'll see. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

charlie isn't himself today

Last May, we got a new dorkie puppy (half daschund and half yorkie.) We named him Charlie Bacon... because he looked like a Charlie. Plus, everything is better with bacon! *snort* And that way, when we're feeling fancy or he's in really big trouble, we can call him Sir Charles Bacon. It has a nice ring to it, no?

Well, last night Charlie got hurt. Badly. He ran behind Ella's headboard as we were putting her to bed. There was a big ol' bolt sticking out back there, one that holds the headboard to the bed frame. Well, he caught his side on the bolt and literally ripped a big bunch of tissue off. Not a gash. A hole. In his side. *cue that sick feeling in your stomach where you worry if the puppy that you love dearly is going to be okay or... not*

Of course, to make matters worse, we were in the middle of a borderline blizzard. We got about 8 inches of snow. For Kansas, that is a ridiculous amount. So, we had to drive to the animal emergency hospital on terrible roads. Let's just say that I was in full panic mode.

Long story short, they heavily sedated him so that they could sew him up. He ended up with a couple of layers of stitches. He looks a little like Frankenstein. I'll spare you a picture of that, mmm-kay?

Luckily, he's going to be okay. He'll heal. In the meantime, he's not himself at all. He won't move. He won't eat or drink much of anything. We've managed to get some peanut butter down him and a few licks of water here and there. Poor babe.

Feel better soon, Sir Charles Bacon. We're missing your sparkle.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

i heart cupcakes

This is what we had for dessert last night.

It's hard not to love a cupcake. Especially a vanilla cupcake with not-too-sweet buttercream, filled with raspberry jam, enrobed in a pink zebra print liner, with multi-colored heart sprinkles. HEART SPRINKLES, people!!!

I absolutely HAD to try a new buttercream recipe I'd come across. One thing about buttercream is that it can be so darn sweet that it makes your toes curl. But, I'd found a tip online (I pink puffy heart LOVE the internets) to add a couple pinches of salt and lemon juice to cut the sweet. Oh. My. Goodness. IT WORKED! I've made buttercream about a hundred times, and this was, by far, the best buttercream EVAH. I could have eaten it straight from the bowl with a spoon. *swoon* *double swoon*

On another baking note, I  heard through the grapevine that the infamous Alton Brown said it's okay to use cake mixes because they've come a long way and are pretty darn awesome these days. Perhaps it's an urban legend perpetuated by exhausted, want-to-do-it-all moms that just don't have the time to do scratch baking, bring all the ingredients to room temp, etc. Or maybe he really DID say it!? The world might never know. Either way, it makes me feel a tiny more justified in my use of box mixes.

Have a happy Wednesday, folks!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

so far, so good

Mr. Handsome had his phone interview this morning. Apparently, it went pretty darn well. The best part? He found out that the pay range is exactly what he was making at his previous job. We expected it to pay much, MUCH less. So, the possibility of maintaining all we've worked so hard for? Awesomeness!!!

We're trying not to get our hopes up, but I can't help but be a little bit jazzed. We're supposed to hear from the recruiter by the end of the week. Of course, we know the real deal, so we'll be happy if we hear from them within the next month.

*fingers crossed*

Monday, January 17, 2011

okay. i lied.

Pictures tomorrow? Nope. Pictures tonight? Hell yeah!

But first, a quick explanation of the curtain debacle. I had three panels of hot pink blackout curtains that I got for a song (the panels were too short, and I was planning to use the third to lengthen them.) I got them home and was having serious reservations about all that hot pink next to lime-y green walls. What the hell was I thinking?! So, when I have reservations about something, I decide to jump in head first and spend a bajillion hours on it AND make it incredibly complicated (piecing and ruching and ruffles, oh my!) That should make everything better, no?

Long story short, I made curtains that I absolutely hated. They were WAY too heavy looking for the room. But, the ruching thing was so purdy! So, I took the lemons that I'd given myself and made lemonade. I whipped up this ridiculously enormous floor pillow out of a portion of the curtains. You better pat me on the back for getting a photo of this sans toddler because I literally had to wrestle it away from Ella for 2 minutes in order to take a picture of it.

You can get a good idea just how big this sucker is when you compare it to the closet door in the background. It's big enough to be a very foofy dog bed for Clifford the Big Red Dog. Seriously.

Below is a photo of one of the two new curtain panels (the second panel is *almost* done and just needs one more ruffle to be finito.) Thank you, Walfart for selling me two twin flat sheets for a total of exactly $8.00. Add some ruffles from stashed fabric, and we were golden! Much, much better. *phew* And yes, I realize that they still look like flat sheets, but I was definitely going for a super long, super flow-y-ish look, and the sheets give me that look on a seriously low budget.

And just to give you an idea of where Ella's room is headed, here is a photo of my fabric stash that is to be used to make her a quilt.

I LOVE this fabric. For reals and for true. It makes me swoon. I think it's going to make a kick butt quilt, despite the fact that I'm going to take the easy route and make a tied quilt with a super simple block pattern. How can you look at those colors and not be at least a little bit happy? I dare you. Look, and then DON'T smile. Can you do it? I didn't think so. :)

focus? huh?

My mind has been so scattered lately. Like... REALLY scattered. I swear I have the attention span of a gnat sometimes.

I've been trying so hard to figure out what this blog should be... how to focus on something that people will really want to read. I read tons of blogs in which these uber creative people have so many tutorials and amazing ideas. Crazy awsome pictures. Fantastic recipes and incredibly insightful wisdom. I'm not sure I can compete with all that.

Soooooo... how about if I stop thinking about what OTHER people are blogging about and focus instead, on what is in my head at any given moment? It changes so much from day to day. The main focus of the blog will still be what I'm trying to focus on in my life: stuff that just makes me happy. Little stuff. Big stuff. And all the in between stuff. Besides, all that comparing with other blogs doesn't serve much of a purpose other than making me feel REALLY bad about myself and what I have to offer. So, no more comparisons. Way more happy, instead!

Oh, and as an update, I made those curtains. And I hated them. I hated them so much that I literally tore them apart and made a completely different project with all that shirred/ruched/ruffled fabric (which, incidentally took me FOREVER to create, therefore I was going to use those panels, hell or high water!) So, in a Tim Gunn "Make it work!" moment, I made an enormous floor pillow. And, on top of that, I made completely different curtains that I'm much, much happier with. I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow. (I know, I know... promises, promises.) But first, I must unearth the pit that is Ella's room. Because cripes... there is no way on the planet earth that the entire internet is going to see my baby girl's room in it's current state. No. Way. In. Hell.

Friday, January 14, 2011

okay, okay

Well, apparently I over-estimated my abilities to make curtains in a single day. Or even two days. *snort* Oh well. No biggie. I ended up finding some blackout curtains for an absolute steal, but they aren't the right length. So, I'm piecing in panels. Well, not *just* panels. Their a modified shirring/ruching/ruffling thing that I'm really jazzed about! I'm still working on them and should have photos tomorrow, sewing machine and camera willing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

phone interview! *squee*

Mr. Handsome (aka Hubby) got a call from an insurance company that is based here in Topeka. They set up a phone interview for their senior graphic designer job. I'm trying not to get too excited, but... well... *squee*

Fingers crossed, party people!

sometimes, practical = happy

A couple of weeks before Christmas, we decided to redo/repaint Ella's room from a dark-ish taupe color to a more lively light green. Thankfully, she is IN LOVE with the color. Color win! Our plans included finding tons of cute (and super cheap) fabric to make her curtains, a new quilt, and some accessories to go with her freshly painted room. Needless to say, I've totally dropped the ball on this one. I could give a million excuses ("Hey, it was Christmas!", "I had to work a lot!", "My fingers were too cold to sew!") but it would all be a bunch of bologna.

Thing is, Ella's pretty much stopped napping since a week or so after her walls were repainted. My guess is that it's just too darn bright in there without some sort of light filtering curtains. And because I really need to get moving on this project, I've deemed it a dire necessity to sew those curtains. Like... TODAY. So, I'm raiding the stash of carefully coordinated fabric and am going to hopefully hit the ground running. I have a feeling that the practicality of room darkening curtains might help Ella Bella nap, and in turn, help Mommy's mood tremendously. (What parent doesn't want their toddler to nap?!)

So, that's my project for today. Pictures and such to follow. It's been a while since I've done much sewing, so cross your fingers for me. I'm gonna need it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

lots of little happy all over the place

My day wasn't filled with big happies. Instead, my day had a metric ton of little happies. Here are the highlights:

- Cole (one of my two 10 yr. olds) made it into the spelling bee! YAY!!! He's so stinkin' smart. Truly. I couldn't be more proud. *bustin' my buttons*

- The kids went back to school, and we got to leave the house. THANK GOD. I'm a homebody by nature, but I was absolutely going stir-crazy with all 6 of us there 24/7 for about 3-4 days.

- While out and about, we grabbed a quick bite of lunch and then went to the new local baking supply store. Oh. My. God. You may or may not know that I LOVE to bake. It's an illness, really. And despite the fact that my budget these days is really low, I let Ella (who is now 3 1/2 yrs. old) pick out some cupcake liners (pink zebra!) and sprinkles (multi-colored hearts!) I must say, their selection is somewhat small. But considering that I've had to buy most of my fancier baking supplies online for the last few years, I'm THRILLED to have a supply store at all!

- My kids think I'm a cooking goddess. Tonight was breakfast for dinner... gingerbread pancakes with roasted orange juice. I have to say, it was pretty darn good. I even took pictures. After all, no one wants to read a blog with absolutely no pictures. So, without further ado, here's dinner:

Here's the recipe, in case you're interested. I use it exactly as written (well, except for the fact that I made the alternate pancake version instead of the waffles.) Just keep in mind that these boogers are a little harder to flip than most pancakes I've ever made, as they're a little runnier. Other than that, they are mind blowing. Really. I'm serious. Make some.

- I've started a new ritual with Ella. I sing "Part of that World" from the Little Mermaid to her before she goes to bed each night (it's the first song on one of her Disney cd's.) She loves it. And because I really miss singing, I love it, too. When I came out of her room after putting her to bed tonight, Cole had been listening at the door. He was dumbfounded. He knew I could sing, but he didn't know that I could SING. "Mom, that was amazing!" Thank you, sweet boy. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Some folks who already know me know about my current situation. In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm a part-time web developer. I don't make a lot of money. Really, my main focus is bringing in just a little bit of extra money so that I can manage my household. When you have a blended family that includes 4 crazy kids and a puppy, it's really nice to be able to be home so that I can control the chaos a little bit.

Thing is, my husband, a graphic artist/web guru/etc. was laid off from his job. We found out in November, and his last day was December 3rd. Yes. Right before Christmas. I know, right? It's a little hard to be happy when you find out that your main source of income is just POOF. Gone.

Well, it's hard to be happy until you have friends and family who come out of the woodwork to help you. Countless folks sent us gifts for the entire family. Gift cards, gently used toys, play dresses, board games. It was overwhelming... in a happy way. I was so grateful. So humbled. So happy.

But now that the holidays are over, the looming freakout is back to some degree. Hubby was given a severence of 6 weeks. I've had a couple of decent web development months, which really have helped. Hubby was granted unemployment (THANK DUDE his previous employer didn't fight him on it!) But when the severence money is gone, it's GONE. Ugh. Cue that sick feeling in your stomach.

I haven't checked out bank account in at least two weeks. I couldn't bare to do it. But, this morning, we had more in there than I thought we would. I did my invoicing for the month, and we had a solid $500 more than I thought we would. Kansas just graced us with a check for unemployment. So while we're still really hustling to find ways to get by, I can relax a little. There's hope in that, ya know?

We're still waiting to here from "the bank" about a potential job opening. Hubby interviewed, and it went really well. They've been putting off the decision FOREVER. No, really... since the beginning of December. Cripes, people. The HR lady has assured Hubby that he's still absolutely in the running, so we're trying to be hopeful. But, it's hard. It's all just hard.

So, today, I will find happy in some meditation. And this evening, I will find even more happy when I take the time to color my hair. (Oh MAN... the roots are ridiculous!) And for dinner, I will find happy in making my family Hamburger Helper and NOT spending hours and hours in the kitchen. (Don't judge. We all have meals of shame now and again.)

Where are you finding your happy these days? Organization? Taking pictures? Cooking? Crafting? Something else? I really do want to know.

Monday, January 10, 2011

done and done

So, how did all that happy go? Really, really well. :)

I took my time to meditate. It's been forever and five days since I've made time for that. Truly. So, I grabbed the nearest candle, locked the bathroom door, sat on the floor, lit the candle, and turned off the lights. Pure silence and peace for 15 minutes. I had so many thoughts flow in and out of my head... all of which were good. It was heaven. So help me, I need to find a way to do this every single day, without fail. Why, oh WHY didn't I start this all back up sooner?!

So, my second focus on happiness had to do with food: cinnamon bun caramel corn from a recipe I found over at Our Best Bites. First of all, I got to break in a brand new popcorn popper that a dear friend sent my way over the Christmas holiday (Thank you, Andria! *smooch*) I absolutely love this popper. It was easy to use, fun to watch, and popped almost every single kernel of popcorn. I've never seen anything like it. HUGE homerun, there! And then you add caramel, cinnamon, pecans, and a drizzle of white chocolate? Happy really isn't an accurate term for it. Blissful is probably a lot closer. It was popcorn Nirvana. Seriously. If you ever have some time and the needed ingredients, which are pretty run-of-the-mill, I highly recommend giving it a shot. My kids actually asked if I could forgo sending cupcakes to school for their birthday, and just send this caramel corn to school instead. Crazy I tell you!

I did notice something different about today. It was challenging in almost every way. We had a snow day, so everyone (including laid-off-looking-for-employment hubby) was home. All four kids plus hubby. All day long. You do the math. It was stressful. I felt like I did nothing but feed everyone. And I had my own work to do, plus all the usual cleaning and laundry and such. I was crabby. But, in the late afternoon, I took time for the happy. It really seemed to make a difference, which surprised the heck out of me. I didn't expect to have my mood turn on a dime like that... especially for the better.

It makes me want to continue all this, but maybe on a grander scale. What if I started my day with happy instead of waiting until the afternoon? What if I got up just 15 minutes early and meditated? Is that even possible? Can I realistically expect myself to get up earlier than the butt crack of dawn to light a candle in the dark and think? I'm not sure. Maybe I should try.

the plan of ATTACK

So, how am I actually going to go about grabbing all this happy I keep talking about? Good question. Hmmm....

At the moment, my big master plan is to do at least one thing every single day that I think might give me a little piece of happiness. Today, I will meditate for a full 15 minutes, completely uninterrupted. (This is code for "the 3 year old is down for a nap and I've threatened the older kids within an inch of their lives NOT to knock on my bedroom door.") I will light a candle, which seems to work best for me. I will find my happy, peaceful place deep down inside.

And after that, I'm making caramel popcorn. Oh YEAH, baby! If I can't manage happiness in a little bit of caramel popcorn, then my soul might as well be dead.

After I'm done with both activities, I will come back here and blog about the results. Cross your fingers for me. Bring on the happy!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

new beginnings

Aaaaah... my very first post on this blog. So much pressure. How about I just pretend that I've been writing this blog forever and that everyone who is reading it already knows and loves me? Mkay? Good.

In case you don't know much about me, let me start off with an introduction. My name is Jenny Joy. Yes. Really. The last name of Joy is ironic, no? I'm a wife, a mother of four, and a web developer. In addition to all that, I've been living with anxiety and/or depression most of my life. To say that it's been a struggle is an understatement of epic proportions. I've tried just about every med on the market. I've seen many, MANY different therapists and psychiatrists. I've had tons of tests run to rule out other issues like thyroid problems, etc. Very little of it has ever been helpful. I'm starting to feel a little desperate. I'm desperate to find a way to not only cope, but also find happiness. I'm not content to just survive. I want to LIVE. I want to be happy. I want it all.

Over the last few weeks, I've been thinking a lot about this blog. What do I want it to be like? How do I want it to look? What do I want to accomplish? Those are all pretty darn good questions. But, the time has come for me to throw caution to the wind, stop thinking about this blog and just DO IT already. As a web developer/designer, I should be ashamed to use a ready-made Blogger template, but what the heck? Starting this thing is WAY more important than the background graphics or the banners or the font that is being used. In this instance, action is required. So, this is my action. Note to self: just write already!

My very first topic is new beginnings and fresh starts. I've been reading other people's blogs, flipping through magazines, watching television, and everyone who is anyone is talking about clearing out, starting over, and making a new life for themselves. Damn. This is a lot of pressure, don't you think?

I keep wondering if all these changes, fresh starts and newly organized lives will really make us happier. In my case? I'm not sure. Will I REALLY be happier if my linen closet in the bathroom is completely cleaned out, with all the contents carefully organized and sorted into beautiful baskets and bins? Will that type of organzation make any difference at all? How about the pile of papers on my kitchen counters? My digital files? My underwear drawer?

The answer to all those questions: I have absolutely no idea. Maybe it's worth a try. Maybe I can grab my happy by organizing my entire house within an inch of it's life. Or maybe the key is creativity in the form of crafty projects and art? Reading more self-help books? Eating better food? Again, I don't know. I don't know. And I don't know.

I'm going to try a little bit of everything in an attempt to "grab my happy". In the coming days/weeks/months, I'm going to attempt to push out the sad, the anxiety, the fear so that I can find more happiness in my life. And I don't want to just find that happy, as if it were just laying on the side of the road. I'm going to GRAB my happy. I have to be in charge. I have to find a way to make happiness happen for me.

So, want to go on this journey with me? Want to help me figure out where happy is hiding, where I can find it, and what I can do to just GRAB it already? Follow along. The more the merrier. :)