Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 389 - An Uneventful Year

I have watched my sister and some friends go through such struggles this past year. Death. Divorce. Financial. Oh sure. We've had our share of woe. But nothing we couldn't work through. Thank goodness. My husband is self-employed and the economy has affected his business. But we're still here. We're still solvent. We're hanging in there. I know this isn't a very sunny way of looking at it; but I'm so thankful for this uneventful year. There is joy is surviving.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 388 - Re-runs

I can't use re-runs here...but I CAN on my other blog! And thank goodness! Because we have had guests non-stop since December 20th. And it won't end until this weekend. I'm ready to send up the white flag. But instead, I'll use re-runs on my other blog to tide me over. Joy doesn't even begin to describe!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 387 - Leftovers

Some people love 'em. Some people hate 'em. Me? I'm in the "love 'em" category. Especially holiday leftovers. We're finishing up the last of them and I'm actually kind of sad. I keep looking to the next big holiday and wondering what I'll make then - so I can have lots of leftovers. When you love what you had, having them again makes it twice as nice. Plus, you don't have to cook again. Just zap in the microwave and you have dinner! Yep. I'm weird. I find joy in leftovers.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Day 386 - Hot Chocolate

With marshmallows. With whipped cream. Any way you like it, hot chocolate is the perfect drink on a chilly, chilly day. We had snow over the weekend and it's still pretty chilly here. The boys wanted to play outside but didn't last long. Soon they were inside again and begging for hot chocolate. Of course, I couldn't turn them down and I couldn't pass up a cup for myself. Hot chocolate on a chilly day is joy - no matter how you dress it up!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 385 - A Groomed Puppy

He's not exactly a puppy. He's a three year old Golden Retriever. But he thinks he's still a puppy. Without the sweet puppy breath and the ease of bathing a puppy in the bathtub. So I take him to a groomer a few times a year. Especially when the weather is cold. And when he comes back he's so soft and sweet and kissable. I don't mind cuddling him when he's been to the groomer. Today was no exception. A little grooming joy and my puppy is fresh and clean!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 384 - My Son

Easy, peasy little joy post today! My son is too funny! He's so creative and funny and fun. He's wanted a DJ system for a long time and finally, this Christmas, it was under the tree. He's played with it pretty much non-stop since he opened it. But today, he decided to add a little bling, a little spice, a little attitude. Meet my little Joe Cool! He was cracking us up all afternoon! A little DJ Joy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 383 - Christmas Day

It's here! Christmas Day! No secret to the three of you who follow this humble, little blog - but Christmas is my all-time favorite holiday. The reason for the season means so much to me - as do all the little Christmas miracles and goodwill that seems to occur this time of year. It's truly a great reminder to me to give unconditionally and enjoy the spirit of every season. It's a reminder I carry with me throughout the year but feel it most of all, now. Happy, happy Christmas to you and your family!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 382 - Christmas Eve

It's almost over. All the anticipation for the big day. I love preparing for the holidays. And now, it's Christmas Eve. Time to put the finishing touches on presents and baking. Time to savor all the preparations already made. I adore Christmas. I'll be sad to see it go. But for now, Christmas Eve will bring me so much joy - anticipating tomorrow!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day 381 - Chamomile Tea

The past month as been a tough one. I seem to be getting hit from all sides with struggles. Things too personal to air here. And we got hit with yet another one today. When will it stop? When it rains, it freakin' pours. This holiday time of year is my favorite -- and I refuse to let these roadblocks ruin my holiday. It's the end of the day. I'm sipping my favorite comfort drink of chamomile tea. Warm, steaming cup of joy to help heal.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Day 380 - Time to Cook

When my in-laws are here I am chopped liver to my kids. They love Grammie and Grandpa. And Grammy loves to entertain the kids. So, I am free to cook/bake/putz in the kitchen to my hearts content. It is absolute heaven. And I cooked up a storm today. Joy, joy, joy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day 379 - House Guests

I have a love/hate relationship with house guests. I love having them. I love planning the meals. I love entertaining them. I love the company. I hate the mess. Sometimes, I hate having to entertain and the constant company. But today, our house guests arrive and I am in the "joy" mode of anticipation. The menu is planned, the sheets are clean and on the bed. And my kids are jazzed that their grandparents will be here in a few hours. Today...for today, guests = joy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 378 - A Quiet Cup of Coffee

My mother used to set her alarm to wake up an hour before the rest of us. She liked to sit in the living room, with her cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet. I actually had that opportunity and it was bliss. I suddenly get why she would forfeit an hour of sleep to enjoy the peace. I was able to start my day relaxed and refreshed and (after a cup of caffeine) ready to do. A simple, quiet cup of joe brought a little joy to start my day.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 377 - Sunday With Nothing To Do

A day with no plans. I love them! To bits! And today was one of those days. Of course, we had many things on our to-do list. But no where we had to go. All the Christmas shopping is done. I could pick and choose what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. And in the end, it was a very productive day. I love days like these. Joy, joy, joy!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 376 - Dinner with Friends

It is so nice when you find a couple where you enjoy them equally. I know that sounds harsh, but I know you know what I mean. You like the wife, but the husband annoys the heck out of you. Or the husband is great, but the wife gets on your nerves. We have friends, a great couple where all of us get along so very, very well. And as I get older, I'm finding that kind of friendship rare. Tonight, we went out to dinner with the two of them and we had so much fun. We told our sitter just two hours - it was just dinner, after all. We visited with them for four. Time flew. Because time spent with them contains a lot of joy.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 375 - ABBA

I can't believe I'm admitting this. But I enjoy ABBA. I have no idea why. I love their harmonies. I love to sing along. While I say I love all types of music - alternative and rock are my favorites. I rarely listen to pop. With ABBA I make an exception. And today, with ABBA blasting from my ipod, I cleaned the kitchen like nobody's business. I sheepishly admit, ABBA brings me joy.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 374 - Menus Planned

I have all the copies of my recipes that I want to make in the next two weeks. We have house guests arriving this weekend and then more the weekend after that. Two weeks with people invading my space. One way that I stay sane is cooking for them all. Truly. Cooking is my therapy. And since my mother-in-law and my sister don't enjoy it as much as I do, they stay away. It's my time alone in the kitchen when my house is full of people. Today, I've been planning my menus and shopping lists and it's been so much fun. So much joy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Day 373 - Getting To Bed Early

It's been a crummy day. Really yucky. Everything has seemed to go wrong. But now? The house is quiet. The kids are all in bed. I'm tired and crabby. So, I'm going to bed. Early. Really early. And I don't care. Because, there's a little joy in knowing that I can just hide under those covers, go to sleep and pray it all looks better in the morning. Good night!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 372 - Laura Calder

Laura Calder is my new favorite television chef. I minored in French in college. I've been to France twice. And each time, it felt like home. If I were in a different place in my life, I would move there in a heartbeat. Instead, I must be content to live vicariously through others or read books, watch movies or cook French food. Laura Calder has a quirky style I love. It's funny but she looks and even has the same haircut as my high school French teacher. I love watching her show, French Food at Home. And today, I had about 5 episodes taped. I watched all of them and completely inspired for holiday cooking, I've just finished printing recipes off the Cooking Channel website. I love to cook and I love learning from Laura Calder. See? There is joy in cooking.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 371 -

Amazon? I love you. No. I really mean it. I loooooovvvvveeee you! Especially during the holiday season. You're quick. You're thorough. You have so many great suggestions. I love the product reviews and the free shipping. You have made my holiday shopping an absolute breeze! Prices are right. And you can't beat the crowds. As in, NO crowds. None. Nada. Zip. That alone is pure joy to me. Amazon totally equals joy in my book!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 370 - Snow

We've had snow on and off all day long. Nothing is sticking. But outside our window we've watched huge, fluffy flakes drift down. My husband was disappointed that it wasn't sticking. But my #1son said, "It's still pretty to look at." How right he is. It's gorgeous. I'm glad I don't live in this kind of weather all winter long. But the few times a year that we get snow? It sure is pretty to look at! A little snow joy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 369 - Twinkling Lights

Christmas lights. Our neighborhood seems to be going overboard this year. And I don't mind. I love homes that are decorated for the holidays. We look forward to nights like tonight, when we have time to take a little drive and see all the lights. There's also a house a few miles from us that decorates their few acres with lights that are set to music. You just turn your radio to the station they have listed on the sign in front of their house. All the lights go on/off/fade/dance to the music on your radio. Now that's some serious Christmas decor! We love it! Twinkling lights bring this family joy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Day 366 - Happy Birthday Blog!

Today I turn one! Make blog turns one! Happy Birthday to Every Day Joy! One year of documenting joy! And even though I'm not always timely on publishing --- it hasn't been that difficult to find. Joy, that is. Happy, happy birthday to us!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 365 - Almost A Year

The anticipation is great! Today is my 365th post. That means, tomorrow is my birthday --- well, my blog's birthday. When I started this, I had no idea if I would follow through. It just sounded like a good idea at the time. And a year later, I have no idea if anyone is reading. Not many comment. But I don't run out there and plug this blog, advertise it, beg for comments. It's just a humble, little reminder out there in the big, huge world of blogging to look for joy in each and every day. This has been a wonderful discipline for me. And has made my own life so much richer. Happy Almost Anniversary blog! You truly bring me joy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 364 - Cozy Sweater

I have a favorite sweater. It's such a favorite I just realized I wore the same exact sweater for our Christmas card twice before. Oops. Everyone out there is going to think I only own one sweater. But I love it. What can I say? It brings me joy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 363 - Caramel Macchiato

From Starbucks. Heaven in a cup. Once a week or so (more "or so" than I'd care to admit) I pick up a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks and then come home and sip and enjoy the quiet. That's exactly what I'm doing today. Did I say 'heaven in a cup?' I meant Joy in a cup!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 362 - Ranch Dressing

Homemade ranch dressing. With buttermilk. It's the best. Typically, in cold weather, we don't eat much salad. And after not eating it for a while my teeth start to crave the crunch of a crisp, fresh salad. Tonight I made one with three kinds of baby lettuces and fresh, homemade ranch dressing. Yum. Yum. Yum. Creamy joy over crispy greens!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Day 361 - Trivia Night

We're trying a new place for trivia tonight with our friends and I'm excited. It seems like it's been too long since my husband and I have been out and conversed with adults. Plus, I'm hoping this new place might be a keeper. We're tired of the menu at the other place and this new location is closer to our home. Fingers crossed! Because you all know how much joy trivia night brings me!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 360 - Christmas Tree

It's tradition. We always get the Christmas tree on the weekend closest to my birthday. So today, on this cold, wet and rainy day (which my husband says always seems to happen this weekend) we got our Christmas Tree. We went to a family owned tree farm about an hour from our home. We chose a beautiful Fraser Fir and put it up in a new place this year. When we put it in our living room (a room we only sometimes use) we never get to see it. This year, it's in our family room so we can enjoy it every day. Which is wonderful because I definitely find joy in Christmas trees!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 359 - My Birthday!

It's my birthday. Today. Yay! Ok. Sometimes, not so yay. I'm not liking the year I've turned. I am soooo into my forties now and it's feeling old. And I'm taking stock in my life and I'm wondering if I've accomplished enough. But then I think, "Hey! It's my birthday today!" and I forget how old I am and how my bucket list is still so very long. I just think about today and smile. I'm happy. I've got three wonderful kids and a husband who loves me. And it's my birthday! There's certainly joy in that!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Day 358 - Fireplace

It is cold out there. Bitter cold. And while I prefer a wood burning fireplace, the convenience of a gas fireplace sure is nice right about now. The kids are in school. The washing machine and dishwasher are humming. And I'm sitting here with a good book, a cup of tea and a little fire in the fireplace. The wind howls out my window but I don't care. It's toasty warm in here. A little joy in the fireplace today.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Day 357 - Good News at the Dentist!

I hate the dentist. And it doesn't help that I was blessed with horrible teeth. I wore braces forever and no matter what my impeccable teeth cleaning habits are like, I still get cavities. As you get older you need crowns. And that's exactly what I expected to have to schedule today. At my last cleaning, the dentist told me to start saving for 2 crowns because that's what it looked like I would need. But today she said I only needed one partial crown (less money!) and just replace the old filling on the other tooth. Woo-hoo! Not the perfect news but much better than I expected! Joy at the dentist. Who knew?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 356 - Almost December

I flipped my little daily wooden calendar this morning and realized it's the last day of November. The very last day! I don't like to rush time. I like to savor the season. But because it's the last day of the month, that means I can start with our advent calendars beginning tomorrow. My heart bounced with a little joy when I realized that! December is almost here!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 355 - Routines

I can't believe I haven't written about this before. Don't get me wrong. I love surprises. I love spontaneity. But I also love getting back into our routines. After a week+ at Disney World and then the Thanksgiving holiday, I am sooooooo glad to be back in our routines. The kids at school. My husband at work. Me, back to my daily chores and responsibilities. Today, I'm finding joy with every familiar minute of our daily schedule. Ahhhhh, back into our routines.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 354 - The Last Suitcase

My cold followed me to Disney World. It followed me home, too. I'm running at about 72% and it's driving me crazy. I have had no energy to unpack or do laundry but I did it anyway. And guess what? I'm finally finished! The last load of laundry and the last suitcase is unpacked and tucked away, resting up for our next trip. It's taken me a bit longer than it usually does; which is probably why it's something I found joy in today. Such a simple thing, but I'm so glad this chore is finished.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 353 - Holiday Decorating

It's tradition. The weekend after Thanksgiving I pull out all of the Christmas decorations. We've spent that last 10 hours decorating the inside and the outside of the house. We play Christmas carols (I never tire of them!). We laugh. We reminisce. We disagree about where to put things. Most of all, we have fun. This year was no exception. Lots and lots of joy in holiday decorating!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 352 - Black Friday

Last year, my daughter wanted to shop on Black Friday. I hate shopping. I'm a have-a-mission-go-in-and-get-it-then-leave kind of shopper. But she begged and she pleaded. So I said, OK. But only if we leave at 5am (knowing she'd rather sleep in). She called my bluff and we went. At 5am. And we had a blast! Who knew? We decided then and there to make it a yearly tradition. Off we went today and it was so much fun. We shopped. We stopped for breakfast and coffee. We shopped some more. It was some amazing one-on-one time with my daughter and we even found a few deals, too. Even to a non-shopper, there is joy in Black Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 351 - Thanksgiving

This entire blog is, essentially, about giving thanks. And I love it that Americans are the first to designate an entire day, an entire holiday to stop and recognize the bounty that is in our lives. I have so very much to be thankful for. My husband. My children. My family. My friends. The three of you who stop in to see what I'm thankful for each day. Thank you, faithful few readers. Thanks for peeking in. Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 350 - Cranberry Relish

I love the holidays. I love preparing for them. And the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is when I get into full swing. Today, about the only thing I have the energy for is to make my cranberry relish. It HAS to be made the day before you eat it. It needs 24 hours so all the flavors can mix and mingle, get to know each other and create an amazing, fruity, gingery little burst with each bite of turkey. I love the methodical chopping. The scents. The sounds of the wooden spoon hitting my favorite glass bowl with each stir. I find joy in eating my cranberry relish but making it brings joy, too!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 349 - Catching Up

Catching up with rest. My friends. The mail. Bills (yuck!). My television shows. I'm feeling exhausted after this trip and today is a day to catch up. I'm done with the yucky chores (bills) and now it's time for a cup of tea and some time to laze on the couch, call a friend, read my magazines or watch a show that I've taped. Now, if the boys will just give me the time to do it! Because catching up is where I'm finding my joy today!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 348 - Home

After a long trip that went by oh-so-quickly, it's good to be home. Sure, we miss Disney World. It is truly a magical place for our family. But to be in our own comfy beds, familiar space and surroundings? Dorothy was right. There's no place like home. And it's a wonderful thing to find joy in coming home.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 347 - Last Day

Today is a bit bittersweet. It's our last day in my favorite place in the world. But we all miss home. We all miss my husband/their dad/my daughter/their sister. We've ended our trip in our two favorite parks, EPCOT and Magic Kingdom. We're riding all of our favorite rides one last time. Saying goodbye until next time. But there is some joy to be found: in the memories we've created, in the "one last times," in the planning for the next visit and in the anticipation of going home.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 346 - Toy Story Mania

Best ride ever! We are having a blast and so much fun competing against each other on Toy Story Mania. Sure it's a long wait with these horrendous lines. But soooooo worth it! The excitement in my boys' faces is thrilling. I'm so glad I'm having this time with them. Definitely worth it. Full of joy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 345 - Time With My Boys

I'm on vacation with my boys. I had almost ten years with my daughter of one-on-one time. Then, BAM! We adopt and I'm pregnant with our third child. The boys have always been part of a family of 5. And while I'm not getting one-on-one time with each of them this week, I am getting lots of quality time with just the two of them. We laugh. We play. We snuggle at the end of the day. It's been a blast with lots of joy sprinkled into every day.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 344 - Gotcha Day!

It's my son's Gotcha Day! For those of you not well-versed in adoption-speak, Gotcha Day is the day we "gotcha!" Seven years ago today our sweet little bundle of joy arrived. We picked him up at the Chicago airport. I remember it as if it were yesterday. In his little yellow traveling outfit. Us not knowing which formula to use because all of the instructions were written in Korean. Getting to know you all these years has been amazing. I truly would be lost without you in our lives. You bring us such sweet, amazing joy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 343 - Learning at Disney

When I was still teaching, I would chaperone the trips our school would take to Disney. We participated in their YES program, Youth Education Series. It's an amazing program with amazing teaching moments. When I home-schooled our daughter, I was able to apply much of what I learned and create amazing lessons for her. Now, I'm here with the boys and it's not all roller coasters and Toy Story rides. We're watching educational films. Playing in a technology lab. Learning about manatees. Trying foods from different countries. I can't say enough about the multitude of learning opportunities on a Disney vacation. And as a former teacher, learning while at Disney World = joy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 342 - A Christmas Party

Christmas at Disney is so festive and fun. The Osbourne Lights at Disney Hollywood Studios. The resorts decorated to the hilt. And then Mickey's Christmas Party with real snow, hot chocolate and cookies - in the middle of Florida - is not to be missed. I know it's a little early for a Christmas party. But it's never too early for a little Christmas joy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 341 - Coral Reef

Not a real coral reef, but the one at Disney. It's one of my oldest son's favorite restaurants and I was able to snag a reservation - which is difficult last minute. Huge aquarium windows flank one whole side of the restaurant and you can what the fish while you dine. The look of his face when we walked in was utter joy. The highlight of our day!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 340 - Magical Place

Disney truly is a magical place for me. I'm here with my kids and it's possibly my favorite place in the world. The sights. The sounds. The tastes. The fun. The joy. Nothing else needs to be said. Simply magical.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Day 339 - Singing in the Car

We're on a long trip. And while a DVD player in the car is awesome, so is popping in a CD and singing along. My boys and I are on a Mom/Kids only trip together and I had little surprises for them and movies for the DVD player and even a scavenger hunt. But the most fun? Singing in the car with them. We sang and sang to our hearts content. Joyful noise, for sure!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 338 - Friday!

It's Friday! The last day of the work week. The last day of the school week. And the last day before I take my boys on a fun trip to my favorite place in the world! The anticipation has been killing us and now, it's finally here. I've been busy, busy, busy - packing and doing last minute errands. But I don't care. It's a joyful Friday for me!