happiness

A Weekend of Happy Moments

I had a good weekend.

I wanted to write about it from start to finish, but the more I thought about it, the more I just wanted to highlight the moments that made it especially good. Because sometimes it’s not always the big moments, the obvious moments, the moments everyone can see from the outside. Sometimes it’s the smallest moments, the ones you may not even notice until they’re over. Lucky for me, I had a combination of both this weekend—big moments and small—and I want to share some of them.

Friday 4:30 p.m.

My mom and I, dressed in robes, walked into a quiet room where a few day beds faced a waterfall display. There was no music playing, no surrounding conversations, just the sound of water quietly running. We each had a cup of lemon water that we set on the end tables next to our respective day beds, and we took out our Kindles to read for a little while. Our bodies were fully relaxed, having just been treated to 90-minute massages, and we seemed to melt into those day beds, our robes tied loosely around our waists and our minds able to escape into our books. A half hour slipped by, then an hour, and we lay there, content and relaxed.

Friday 9:00 p.m.

I was curled under a blanket in my parents’ living room, watching West Side Story with my parents, my aunt and uncle, and my grandpa. My grandpa and I have always bonded over our love of musicals, and so we’d wanted to watch the new adaptation of West Side Story together. The moment Tony and Maria first see each other at the dance, my 92-year-old grandpa said, wistfully, “this is called love at first sight.

Saturday 9:30 a.m.

It was 75 degrees outside and perfectly clear in Camarillo, and I was picking lemons on an expansive property that looked out over the city. I was part of a group of volunteers picking fruit for Food Forward, and I was filling a bucket with lemons and carrying it up the hill in order to fill the boxes we’d be donating to food shelters. The sun was out, and the lemon trees were blossoming, making the air the perfect blend of floral and citrus. I was sweating, and, at times, panting, as I carried that bucket (20 pounds when full) up the hill over and over, but I knew I was doing good work, and I was happy to be meeting new people.

Saturday 11:30 a.m.

I stopped at Jamba Juice—my tradition after completing a volunteer shift—and got small smoothie and an apple cinnamon pretzel. One of my favorite country songs (“Raised on it” by Sam Hunt) came on the radio, and I took a sip of my smoothie, said, “this is DELICIOUS” out loud, then blasted the song and sang every word.

Saturday 2:50 p.m.

I was standing on the shore of my favorite lake, having driven up to spend the weekend at my family’s cabin. My dad was on the phone with my sister, asking if she could see him, me and my mom from the boat she was fishing on with her boyfriend, Will. They were a good way away from us, and I was waving my arms and dancing, hoping to both get her attention and make her laugh. We were letting her know that we had arrived at the lake, so that they could make their way over to “pick us up.” Little did she know, a small group of friends and family were standing behind a tree, waiting for the signal to come down and watch as Will got down on one knee in the boat and asked her to marry him.

Saturday 3:00 p.m.

She said yes!

Saturday 4:00 p.m.

I was sitting on the boat (named “Tiny Guy”)—which my sister received as present from Will last year—for the very first time. Will was driving, Natalee was sitting beside me, and Will’s mom was sitting behind me. We were making our way from the shore where we’d all gathered after the proposal to the dock, and we couldn’t help but comment on the perfection of the day. The sun was bright and warm, and the sky was perfectly clear—not a cloud in sight. I’d been on that lake so many times growing up, always with my sister right beside me, fishing and singing and creating inside jokes that we still quote to this day, and now there I was, seeing her future unfold in the brightest way, surrounded by new family, with new memories awaiting us in the days ahead.

Sunday 2:30 p.m.

I was sitting on a recliner in the living room, trying to throw a bottle cap into a glass vase. After spending the morning and early afternoon lounging around, I proposed the game to my sister’s now fiancé Will. “How much would you give me if I made a bottle cap in that vase?” To be fair, the vase, set atop the fireplace mantle, already had about ten bottle caps in it, and I was wondering how impressed he would be if I could add to the collection from my chair. What unfolded was nearly 30 minutes of the three of us trying to make the bottle cap in the vase, and cheering as if we’d just won the World Series whenever one of us did.

Sunday 3:50 p.m.

I was sitting on a bench eating a sandwich, looking out at the lake. We’d picked up the sandwiches from the local market, and then parked our car in a shady spot on the highway before walking down the small hill to get to the lake. It was a little breezy, but the sun was still out and a few boats were making laps around the lake. We sat, sometimes talking, sometimes just taking bite after bite, soaking in the mountain air and the easy happiness that the weekend seemed to be made of.

Sunday 6:45 p.m.

I was in my car, singing my heart out on my drive home. The sun was only just starting to set since daylight saving time had given us back our evenings, and it was turning the sky pink. Every part of the weekend had gone right, from start to finish, and I was both ecstatic and exhausted. But the sunset seemed to promise only more good things, only more good moments. So I kept driving, kept singing, and made sure to take a few pictures once I pulled into the driveway at home.

It was the prettiest farewell to the happiest of weekends.

31 Good Things that Happened in March (2018)

Hello and welcome back to another edition of All the Good Things, a monthly series where I highlight all the good things (get it?) that happen in each 30-day (or so) span. I hope it can be a reminder that amongst all the well known bad, there is a lot of undercover good happening in our world.

Let’s dive right in!

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1) World Book Day brought out some amazing costumes

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2) These students recreated the iconic scene from Mulan

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3) History was made at the Oscars

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4) Jordan Peele’s Key & Peele comedy partner, Keegan Michael Key, celebrated his friend’s Oscar win

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5) This pizza delivery driver received a huge tip from a church

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6) Donald Glover met the girl scout who used his song to sell girl scout cookies

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7) International Women’s Day highlighted a bunch of badass ladies

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8) This penguin carved his own path

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9) Ariana Grande gave her fans a sweet reminder

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10) This mom wrote her kids a letter

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11) This nurse helped her patient live out one of his dreams

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12) Loyola Chicago chaplain, Sister Jean, took the basketball world by storm

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13) This grandma got the 90th birthday party she deserved

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14) This man dressed as Elsa from Frozen helped move a police car during a blizzard

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15) After going through chemo, this little girl made it her mission to help other kids going through the same thing

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16) BJ Novak congratulated his longtime friend Mindy Kaling

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17) This girl finished her novel at a tires store

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18) This baby was the miracle a family needed in the wake of the California fires

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19) This boy tried to answer the age-old question

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20)  Camila Cabello beat the paparazzi at their own game

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21) This duck got a new pair of feet

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22) This woman became a doctor at the same hospital she was treated at

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23) The Vegas Golden Knights retired the number 58 to honor the victims of the Vegas shooting

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24) This man went back to work after the generosity of his colleagues allowed him to take a year off to care for his son

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25) This couple cheered up their daughter with chocolate

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26) This “unadoptable” dog became Washington’s first ever deaf K-9

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27) This 36 year old accountant got his first shot in the NHL

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28) This woman cut her hair for a very important reason

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29) This minor league baseball player was reunited with his childhood hero who he first met during chemotherapy

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30) This wrong number text turned into something much bigger

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31) This dog covered up his mischief

 

 

 

 

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Wanna know the best part? There is SO much I didn’t include.

I can’t wait to see what April brings!

You can view last month’s post here.

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34 Things that Make Me Happy

While reading Lily Collins’ book, Unfiltered, I fell in love with a chapter where she listed things that maker her happy. She made sure to be specific, which I thought was important because it made the list unique to her, and I can only assume made her smile while she was writing it. After reading through her list, I was immediately inspired to make my own. So, here are 34 things that make me happy:

  1. Writing (figured I’d start with an obvious one)
  2. Night driving with loud music
  3. John Cusack movies
  4. Laughing at commercials that shouldn’t be funny
  5. Macaroni & cheese
  6. Watching sports (on TV or in person, both ones I know and new ones I can obsessively ask questions about so I can learn the rules)
  7. Converse shoes
  8. Chocolate milk
  9. Watching awards shows and crying when people achieve their dreams
  10. Getting even one Jeopardy question right
  11. Houseplants (especially those that don’t die right after I buy/plant them)
  12. Fishing
  13. Harry Potter
  14. Finding the perfect gift
  15. Collecting ticket stubs, programs, menus, or any other souvenir I can get when I go somewhere new
  16. Proving myself (and others) wrong
  17. Listening to podcasts when I get ready in the morning
  18. Saying words that end in “-sts” (a.k.a lists, casts, etc. I just love that noise!)
  19. Ice cream in waffle cones
  20. When waiters bring you mints with your bill
  21. A clean house
  22. Making people laugh
  23. Dangly earrings
  24. Excel spreadsheets
  25. Going to church
  26. The Olympics
  27. Trying every single new flavor of Oreo
  28. Crossword puzzles
  29. Dancing at weddings
  30. Requesting Whitney Houston’s, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” at weddings
  31. A good playlist
  32. Big cozy jackets
  33. Finding weird places to stop/things to look at on road trips (i.e. WLRA’s)
  34. Ending this list on my lucky number (17) multiplied by 2. (a.k.a nerdy math-ish things)

31 Good Things that Happened in December (2017)

I have good news and good news. I have only good news!

As mentioned in this blog post, at the end of every month I’m going to highlight all the good things that happened in that 30-day (or so) span, to give ourselves a break from the well known bad.

You can find last month’s here.

Happy December to you!

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1) This guy met a friend he made online

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2) After a family lost both of their dogs in the same weekend, this dog food company paid tribute

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3) These besties hung out

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4) This guy got accepted into Harvard

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5) This boy collected over 1000 toys for kids in Puerto Rico

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6) This doctor went the extra mile

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7) This girl hilariously interviewed her cat

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8) This man continued his pursuit to become the first one handed professional football player

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9) This woman helped a fellow runner finish a marathon

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10) This man made working on the Tarmac a little more exciting

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11) This dog met the Internet

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12) This:

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13) This police officer adopted a homeless mother’s opioid addicted baby

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14) This family was reunited with their dog

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15) When this little boy saw someone wrestling with his sister, he came to the rescue!

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16) This Grandma learned to use Google Home

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17) This little guy read 100 books

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18) These girls asked Santa for their dad to come home and he delivered

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19) This man left a generous tip at a restaurant

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20) This couple came full circle

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21) This boy got rewarded for his giving heart

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22) This dog got a new pair of wheels

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23) Texas Rangers’ pitcher, Cole Hamels, and his wife donated a $20,000 mansion to charity

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24) These puppies were saved from freezing to death

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25) In honor of the release of the new Star Wars film, these people gave their best Chewbacca impressions

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26) This guy took to Twitter to highlight some good things from 2017

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27) This woman got an amazing surprise on Christmas morning

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28) This Dad’s carpet Instagram went viral

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29) This dad shaved his head

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30) These flight attendants made a flight delay festive

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31) And finally, the holidays! Whichever one you celebrate, I hope it was wonderful and filled with love, family, food and everything in between.

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Can you believe 2017 is already over?! When I first posted 31 Good Things that Happened in January, I wasn’t sure if it would work out quite like I pictured, but it’s been so much more than that. Every month I was so genuinely excited to put the “All the Good Things” posts together and I’m happy that you guys have been loving the result as much as I have.

I will definitely be continuing this series going into 2018 and I can only hope that the vast number of good things happening in our world will continue to surprise and inspire us all.

Happy New Year, everyone! I can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

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