I have three amazing children. And I don't do enough with them one-on-one. But today, I wanted to go swim some laps and my middle child asked to come with me. It was so nice to talk, laugh and play together, just him and I. I got my exercise in. He got some one-on-one time with his mom. It was win-win all the way. Joyful, sweet, productive quality time.
I'm not much of a shopper. I prefer to shop online. But if I have to shop in a store I like to do it alone, without kids, friends or husband. And I hate it when I'm hounded by sales staff. I had to run some errands today and I was able to do it alone. Completely alone. No kids. No husband and no sales staff checking in with me every 10 seconds. I was efficient. I found a good deal. I got it done. Ahhhhh, there is peace and joy in shopping undisturbed.
Speaking of flip flops, I'm going to devote a post to my favorite "shoe" of choice in the summer....that also seems to start early in spring and spill into fall, as well. I love my flip flops and sandals. Absolutely love the ease of just slipping them on and going. I have so many pairs I'm afraid to count them. I know I'd have to reveal an embarrassing number. Let's just say, this IS joy wearing my flops!
I love summer time. Flip flops, sweet summer breezes, rain storms. The clothes are more casual. Entertainment can be so much cheaper with a trip to our neighborhood pool or a walk at the nearby park. I don't like it stifling, but I do like it warm And it IS warm where I live. And I love it. Because I find joy in summer.
I could not be a person with peanut allergies because I love peanut butter. Skippy Natural is my favorite. I eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner and of course, snack. On crackers, apples, toast or on a spoon. In a sandwich (with banana is best). With chocolate or ice cream. I could eat peanut butter 24/7. Roof of the mouth sticking joy!
Fresh blueberries. We're simply bursting with them in our house. We have a farm close by and my kids love to go blueberry picking. And it brings back such childhood memories for me, too. We freeze a bunch during this time of year and we also eat a bunch. In pancakes, muffins. On top of cereal and ice cream. Plain. With whipped cream. Little bursts of blueberry joy!
My husband has just started taking the boys to an evening Kung Fu class on Sunday nights. Since I don't have to go every time I take advantage of the peace and quiet and get the house ready for the week. I make sure I'm caught up on the laundry. Tackle the last bit of the weekend clutter. Set out clothes and dry cleaning and other things I'm likely to forget. And now, our Mondays start with a little more calm, all because of Kung Fu. Who knew Kung Fu could bring me joy?
I love a good storm. That is, as long as I'm inside my house and there is no chance we will be hit with lightening (which there's always a chance of that but maybe that's the thrill). A good soaking is always nice and that's what we've had twice already today. My flowers have needed it. So today, bring on the storms. Bring on the joy!
I don't have much of a green thumb. I'm working on it. I'm getting better. Typically, I have a difficult time with hanging baskets. But this summer, I've been doing a really good job of remembering to water them. And they look so good hanging on our front porch. They've survived a whole month and a half now. Every time I walk up the front steps I see a little joy.
I love it when my husband and I can sneak away and take the dog for a walk at night. After the boys are in bed. With my daughter "babysitting," of course. The neighborhood is so quiet. Just our low voices or the soft click of our dogs nails on the sidewalk. The crickets. The frogs. The water. Maybe a car or two driving by, but not many. Nighttime walks bring me joy.
I love birthday celebrations. I am prayerfully thankful each day for all the people in my life. But I just love it that we set aside a special time to acknowledge our birth. And today is my husband's birthday. I am so thankful for his mom and dad, bringing him into the world and caring for him until he could find me. I am thankful that we found each other and created the beautiful family we have. I am thankful. I am happy. I am joy because of him.
My boys have done a few summer camps. And this week is the last one. The last week before school starts for me to have any peace and quiet in the middle of my day. Now, before you working-outside-the-home moms start throwing things at me - I want you to know I absolutely treasure, appreciate, and adore the moments when I am afforded time alone. It's where I find joy. And I know I experience it more than others. Please know that I am so grateful and appreciative. It truly is a time for joy.
I've had a rough night. I got accosted at my son's baseball game by a neighbor who wants to work around a rule at our neighborhood pool. I'm on the pool committee and she was relentlessly trying to convince me to let her bend the rules for her. She had lots of reasons why I should. And in the process, I missed one son's play at home plate and my other son's triple. It was a double header and by the second game I was so sick of listening to her I hid behind the dugout and watched the remainder of the game through two chain link fences. I came home. Took a long shower and sat down to the wonderful comfort snack of Oreos and a tall glass of milk. A little joy at the end of a long night!
I already had a daughter when my husband and I met. Our anniversary is more than just the day we married. It is the day we became a family. So we call today our "Famiversary." We celebrate with a fun family activity. We enjoy each other's gifts that make us the family we are. And today was a wonderful day filled with walks at the botanical gardens, sushi, giggles and conversation. Happy Famiversary to my dear, sweet family. You bring me such joy!
The classics are classics for a reason. And Hello, Dolly! is no exception. So clever. So quick. So beautifully directed. The music is fantastic. The dancing. The dialogue. The story. Even my boys were mesmerized. We watched it today, on a lazy Saturday afternoon. And it was pure joy!
My oldest son came to me while I was on the computer tonight, about a half an hour before his bedtime and asked, "Mom? If I get ready for bed now, can we read together?" My heart melted. He knew what my answer would be. I can never turn down an opportunity to read. He hurried through his nightly routine, we grabbed a bunch of old books (books I thought he'd feel too old for - but he chose them, wanting to reminisce, I guess) and we snuggled and cuddled and read until he was too sleepy. Pure and simple read aloud joy!
Why did I need comfort food yesterday? Because I had a crown prep for my tooth today. I hate the dentist. Scratch that. Our dentist is great. I hate having dental work done. And my amazing, helpful daughter anticipated that and said, "Do you need me to pick up the boys from camp? Do you want me to take them to dinner?" So she did. She kept them out of my hair while I moped around in minor pain and discomfort. She is the best daughter ever. She brings so much joy to my life!
Do you remember those old commercials? For "Prince Spaghetti Day?" Wasn't it on Wednesday? Well, no matter. Because pasta night at our house is Wednesday and tonight it was good, old-fashioned spaghetti with meatballs. For me, pasta is comfort food at it's finest. And I needed comfort food tonight. Comfort and joy in a plate full of spaghetti!
At the start of my daughter's teen years she hung with a crowd I wasn't thrilled with. And she never wanted to be home, let alone invite her friends here. But she has grown. Her circle of friends has shifted. She is now friendly with a group that is wonderful. She is happier. She's back to the joyful girl I remember. And she has her friends over all the time. They're here, now, as I type. Laughing, giggling, having a wonderful time. Sure, it's her little brother's bedtime and it's a little crazier here than usual. But all I have to do is remember the time when she never wanted her friends over - a time I didn't enjoy. Yes, now, tonight - there is joy in a house full of teenagers.
I put my family on notice. It's time for clutter patrol. I hand them each a bin or a laundry basket and we patrol the house for clutter. Sunday night is my favorite time to do this because that means I'll start the week with a house that is (mostly) in order. So, today I'm breathing a little easier. Things are picked up. Put away. And it makes it that much easier to vacuum, dust and deep clean the bathrooms and kitchen. Ahhhhh, the joy of clutter controlled.
Peace and quiet. Peace around the world. Just peace. I want peace. I pray for peace. I try to live peace. And today I'm wishing everyone some amount of peace. No matter who you are, no matter what you are experiencing, there is always joy in peace.
My husband and I had a date this morning. No plans. Just tool around like we used to before kids. Discover a new place for lunch. Explore a quaint little town about 30 minutes away from where we live. Stop in little shops. Visit subdivisions and imagine what it would be like to live there. Talk. Dream. Discover. I love date days. The joys of reconnecting.
We had another family movie night tonight with the Princess Bride - a classic. My 17 year old daughter even switched plans with friends to join us. A picnic of homemade pizza, salad, popcorn and Twizzlers. All of us munching on a blanket on the family room floor. My husband and I giggling at the subtle jokes. The boys jumping when the eels appear in the water. Our daughter re-living her "childhood." Such fun. Such joy!
I used to be a swimmer. A competitive swimmer. Complete with 2 workouts a day, weight training. Short course in the winter. Long course in the summer. Five AM workouts before school. Sometimes logging in over 10,000 yards a day. Those days are long gone. Believe it or not, I miss it sometimes. I still swim occasionally. Not as often as I'd like. In my old age I've found that swimming is therapy to me. The rhythmic strokes. Going back and forth, up and down the pool. My head is always clear after a swim. And today was no exception. Joy in swimming after all these years.
It is berry season! We've already picked strawberries and now it's time for blueberries. Even the raspberries and blackberries are cheap in the stores. We've had berry pancakes and waffles, berry salads with our dinners, berries over ice cream and in our cereal. This family loves berries of all kinds. So here's to berry joy!
My son loves soda. He would drink it every day. But we reserve it for special occasions. Over the weekend, we had soda in the house and he was able to partake. He was in heaven. So, this afternoon he asked if he could have a root beer with his snack, fully expecting me to say, "No." I didn't. I said, "Sure. Why not?" You should have seen the joy in his eyes!
Our neighborhood does a parade on the 4th every year and the boys love to participate. My youngest still can't ride a two-wheeler but was determined to ride something. He's a little shaky on the scooter, too. But my oldest jumped in to help with lessons. While looking back on the day on my camera (deleting pictures and choosing which ones to save) I came across this one and smiled. Big sister helping and encouraging little brother. Warms my heart and brings me joy!
I know. Cliche, right? Reading that I find joy in fireworks on July 4th? But I never knew how much I enjoyed them until I couldn't. When my middle boy was a baby he positively freaked out whenever there were fireworks. The noise sent him crawling up my shoulder, frantically trying to get away. He'd cover his ears and wail. It was horrible. Especially since, as they grew, his little brother LOVED "Boom Booms." So my husband would take the kids (be it at Disney World or home for the 4th) to see the fireworks and I'd stay home or at the hotel with my precious son. He's finally over it. And I'm so looking forward to the fireworks tonight. Amazing bursts of joy! Happy 4th everyone!
I don't know what it is about me and glassware. I love to buy pretty drinking glasses. My husband teases me but I can't help it. I have a shelf of pretty glasses that I like to drink my drinks from. My latest obsession has been with these Moroccan tea glasses I found at World Market. I love them. They're the perfect size for juice, water when I take my vitamins or (as they were designed) for a spot of tea. So sue me! I find joy in glasses.
Thank goodness for our neighborhood pool. My 6 and 7 year old boys need to let off steam. It's been steamy here - and I'm not just talking about the weather. But take them to the pool for an hour or two and they are a joy to be around for the rest of the day. Thank goodness for our neighborhood pool! Two tired, water logged boys = joy!
I know I've said that "Nothing says summer like ice cream, hydrangea, iced tea....etc." But this time I mean it: "Nothing says summer like watermelon!" A big, ripe, red juicy watermelon. Not the pink stuff that fills the supermarket at other times of the year. The stuff that's in the stores right now! Dripping with sticky, sweet goodness. Sitting on the porch step, spitting seeds and letting the juice drip down your chin. THAT kind of watermelon! THAT kind of joy!
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.