We were shopping last week and my sons found a bunch of leis on sale for fifty cents each. They wanted to get them but I told them we needed a reason to buy them. We'll have a party, one of them said. So today we had our version of a luau. With leis and festive party plates, grilled pork tenderloin, grilled pineapple and vegetables, fruit salad with fresh grated coconut. We played island music and generally just had a blast. A luau brought joy to this family today!
We moved into our brand new home smack dab in the middle of the worst drought in decades. All of our new landscaping suffered. We lost some things. We replaced, coddled and protected. And finally, we have rain. Lots and lots of welcome rain. I know it's Memorial Day weekend and the storms are ruining lots of plans for many. But I'm finding joy in rain!
Tonight was movie night at Chez Joy. Popcorn. Staying up late (for the kids, anyway). Cuddling and snuggling. Laughing and enjoying. It's a time for us to enjoy a movie together in the comfort of our own family room. I love our movie nights. Family time joy!
It's getting a little too warm here for my pansies. They've lasted since October (a record!). And they're showing their last hurrah. I love the colors I chose this year and I hate saying good bye to them. It's time to plant some begonias or impatiens (I haven't decided.) But I so love my pansies. They brought me joy all winter and now well into the spring! Thank you, pansies!
Every year I tell myself I will go strawberry picking at least once while the kids are still in school. And I don't. I wait until they're out and then the first week of summer vacation we go. Like today. And we have a blast. And we pick loads and loads of strawberries. I freeze some and then wish we had more. And then the season is over. Sigh. The lady at the farm today said the season is a short one this year. She doesn't think they'll have any more strawberries after a few more days. So this was it. Again. But let's not focus on that. Let's focus on the pints and pints of strawberries I just put in my freezer. Because strawberry picking brings joy in our freezer!
I was going to be joyful for something else but when I began writing this post (starting with Day 169) I remembered my silly, joyful, fun and funny students. In algebra, whenever an answer or page number or coordinate had the number 69 in it the class would erupt into giggles. As if I'd never heard THAT joke before or I didn't know what they were snickering at. Ahhhh, to be young and carefree and silly and goofy again! Hmmm. I will! I'm giggling at day 169. Because 69 (and my former students) bring me joy!
Our family loves cookies. And my boys love to bake with me - especially if they get to be "testers." After a day out in the sun I needed to keep my fair-skinned youngest inside. We baked our favorites, Hershey Kiss Peanut Butter Cookies. One batch is never enough. So we made two! Double joy!
Every day isn't peachy keen. I have bad days, too. So some days, it's hard to find the joy. I have to dig deep, look hard, be very aware of those joyful moments. Today, it came from a big hug from my son. He could tell I was having a rough day. He called out to me and I answered in a frustrated tone. He said, "I just wanted to say I love you!" and then he gave me a big hug. Ah, the joy in the little things!
We make it a point to do something with the kids each weekend that THEY would enjoy. We try not to fill it up with errands and chores. This weekend we went on a little nature walk at a local park and the boys (especially) loved it. The wildlife we saw. Tossing pebbles into the river. The chance to be with mom and dad. And mom and dad loved creating memories. Family outings are joy!
I'm a bit of an introvert. But I do enjoy getting out once in a while. Since the month of May is so crazy as we wind down the school year we've been trying to keep our weekends clear. But this weekend? Last night we went out with friends for dinner (2 families + 4 kids = big mess and noise. Thank goodness for outdoor eating!). Tonight we have a birthday party to go to. I'm actually looking forward to it since our social calendar has been a bit lonely lately. For this introvert, parties = joy! (Tonight, anyway!)
Today is my last day of freedom to blog to my heart's content in a quiet house, in the morning. Today is my kid's last day of school. May 21st?!? I know! Early. So I am savoring my last quiet morning. Sipping my coffee. Reading other blogs. Creating posts for mine. Shhhh. Mommy's blogging. And she finds joy in the quiet.
I don't have a green thumb. I WANT a green thumb. And I'd like to think that my thumb is getting a little of a pale green hue. But I'm willing to learn and I so enjoy working outside. Some perennial plants are starting to bloom and I'm so excited that they made it yet another season. Hydrangeas are one of my favorite blooming shrubs. And mine have just started to show their colors. I find joy working in my garden.
I love where I live. I usually don't mind the humidity. But today was one of those perfect days. Sunny. Warm. Very low humidity. I tried to be outside as much as I could. I kept the windows open. The beautiful, crisp, clean air blowing through. (Now that the pollen has settled a bit.) Today there was joy in low humidity.
Today, "Life After Yes" was released. The debut novel of fellow blogger, Aidan Donnelley Rowley. I am so happy for her and so excited to read it. She sent me an advanced copy but my daughter scooped it up and I'm having to wrestle her for it. She won't part with it because it's THAT good! I can't wait. I know it will bring me joy. But for today, I'm joyful in the celebration of Aidan's milestone. Congratulations and may joy follow you everywhere!
Our cat is the sweetest, funniest, most adorable kitty. She makes us laugh. She's cuddley. She's a "people cat." She actually comes running to the door when we come home. I've never known a more friendly, interactive cat before. And, she's gorgeous. Today, when I can home from dropping the kids to school she entertained me for about an hour. The perfect diversion from housework! Our sweet kitty brings me joy!
We hadn't had a mystery ride in a long time. Both my husband and I were itching for one. So we packed the boys in the car and took off. We ended up at a small zoo with a park that has a little lake and walking trails. The boys ran and played and loved seeing the animals close-up. Then we took them to lunch at The Varsity. Hot dogs, chili fries, Frosted Orange. Yummy! We don't eat there often but when we do? Joy!
I love it when a weekend feels like a weekend. You know what I mean. Chores are mostly done. Errands are mostly finished. (Hey, I have three kids. Nothing is every complete around here...well, except for the chaos!) You wake up a teeny bit later. You make pancakes. Someone says, what should we do today? And it's an adventure just picking out the day's plan. That's what today was like. Ahhh, the joy of a true Saturday!
After a month of what seemed to be constant illness, one right after the other, I am finally on track with our daily walks. And it figures I'd finally just get into the routine a week before the kids get out of school. But enjoy THIS moment. Right? And in this moment we (dog and I) are back to our daily walks after I drop the kids to school. For the next few days we will find joy in this peaceful, much needed exercise!
I love a good acupuncture treatment. Especially when I'm not there for a specific ailment. It calms me. Afterwards, I feel as if I've just woken up from the most restful sleep. And the feeling lasts for days afterwards. The benefits are so great. I just wish I took the time to have one more often. My health finds joy in acupuncture.
Without getting too personal or revealing too much information, I just want to say there IS joy in a zero balance. I made the final payment today on a debt and I felt such relief. I almost skipped off to my car. A burden lightened. A dark cloud blown away. There is JOY is a zero balance!
There are ups. There are downs. But there is joy in marriage. Especially one that is determined to make it through. And that is what I have found with MY husband. We disagree. More times than I'd like. We have our issues. But I can always count on him to try. To try to make our relationship better. He works hard to improve himself in order to improve "us." Sometimes, I hate to admit, I think he tries harder than me. And for that I am very, very grateful. Because I find joy in our marriage.
There is such joy and freedom once you learn to ride a bike. The boys both received their first "two wheelers" this weekend. The birthday boy got to pick out a brand new bike. His brother, just 10 months younger, choose one at a yard sale (since it wasn't his birthday.) They practiced all weekend and now, the first thing they wanted to do after school was practice some more. As I worry about spills and falls, I'm trying to find the joy. But when I remember the fun and freedom I had once I learned? There IS joy in learning to ride a bike.
A Mother's Day post would not be complete without thanking all you mothers out there. I absolutely find joy in motherhood. It is, hands down, the BEST job I've ever had. I find can find joy in every day just as it pertains to mothering my children. So I want to take this moment to thank and honor all of you mothers out there who try to do your best, who invest in your children. The mothers who laugh, cry and play with their kids. The ones who do everything in their power to make sure their children have the best mom ever! Joy to all of you, Moms!
We had a family fun day. My son's birthday was yesterday and he wanted to go bowling to celebrate. Except for both my daughter and I worrying about breaking a nail (which is why I always cut mine before I bowl) we had a wonderful time. I bowled my best game ever (which isn't saying a lot since I only bowl about once every two years) and the boys did, too! As we were leaving the bowling alley, the birthday boy said, "We should have a family fun day every weekend!" I think he's right! Because this weekend we found family fun and joy in bowling.
Money is tight. And it's about the only thing my husband and I fight about. When money is tight the discussions tend to get heated - how to cut back, how to save, where is it all going. And we both have very, very different opinions on all of those topics. But this morning we were able to clearly and sanely communicate to each other how we felt about our current spending and WWIII did not break out! Ah, the joy in good, clear communication!
I sang in a choir. In high school. In college. I have so enjoyed going to my daughter's concerts. I love the music. I love the memories it stirs. Tonight was my daughter's last concert of her high school career and it didn't disappoint. A lovely mix of music. A showcase of the school's talent. Musician. Vocalists. It was all good. All entertaining. I find joy in concerts.
I didn't have the picture perfect childhood. I have a less than ideal adult relationship with my mother. So Mother's Day card shopping is always pure torture for me. I can't buy the cards that say "you're my best friend," "thanks for all you do," and "there's no love like a mother's love." I don't feel any of that for her. So when I find a card that is obviously a Mother's Day card (because it says Mother on it) and it has a bland, general sentiment like "Hope you have a wonderful day!" I jump up and down for joy. Today was one of those days!
My son and I watched an episode of Emeril Lagasse that was geared toward cooking with kids. My son loves to cook, just like me. So today, we tried one of his recipes for smoothies. My son cut the bananas, poured the ingredients in the blender, put the top on (tightly) and pressed the button, watching it all mix up. He was so proud of himself when it was time to taste. "Mom! I made this!" he said. There is joy in making smoothies!
I've been in a few book clubs before. Some were great. Some, not-so-great. That's why a friend of mine and I started a new book club. Less people. Less rules. Less of a commitment - only every other month. We had our first meeting tonight to discuss "Ella Minnow Pea" by Mark Dunn. It was so nice to get out of the house and talk to adults for a couple hours. Eat real food uninterrupted with someone else to clean up after me. Believe me, there is joy in book club!
This weekend officially began grill season for our family. We love to grill out on the weekends. And I like it because it makes my week that much easier. On Sundays, we grill. But not just that nights dinner - at least 2 more meals are on the grill, too. Then I wrap and use later in the week. Grilled meat with rice and beans or grilled meat in a salad. Or chopped up with roasted vegetables over pasta. Anything to make my work week easy! Ahhhh, the joy in grilling season!
My boys are only 10 months apart in age. At risk of celebrating too quickly, they play quite nicely together. They rarely fight. They tell each other they love each other. For the next week they'll be "twins" at age 6. But then my oldest son turns 7 and we'll have to wait for March for them to be "twins" again. The way they look out for each other is so adorable. I hope they'll always be this close. For now, I'll find joy in their amazing friendship.
A friend once told me that she tries to find joy in every day. But some weeks it's hard. A whole week without finding joy? That is so sad. I find joy in EVERY day. Or so I think. So I'm testing myself. I am challenging myself to find joy in every single day. Without fail. I will post joy every single day to prove it to myself, to inspire others. Just to see if I can do it. Small bits of joy. Large, monumental moments of joy. But joy is what you will find here.