A local ice cream place was having a promotion, saying goodbye to the last warm days of the year. Free ice cream! So the boys and I indulged after school today. One scoop in a cup for me, and a cone for the boys. Yum! Free ice cream. Yummy joy! Need I say more?
I absolutely adore the Hint Water (Blackberry flavor) that you can pick up at Starbucks. I have been searching for it and searching for it in our grocery stores but to no avail. So I googled it and found out I can get it at Whole Foods. Whole Foods is a little over an hour away from me so I have to plan our trips in advance. Next week I'm going to go and pick up my new favorite drink. For today, there is joy in knowing that I can buy it in bulk to keep on hand in our home!
I am a Disney nut. Or Disney dork, as my daughter would say. I love everything Disney. Especially Walt Disney World. I've visited over 20 times and my friends and family turn to me for help planning their trips. I'm helping two friends now and every time I sit down at the computer to work on their schedules or putting together the tips I've learned along the way? Joy. Simple, pure, joy. Every single minute.
And not just any new recipe. A new recipe that is a hit. With the entire family. And they all asked for me to make it again. My son even asked if I would make it again tomorrow! And the next day after that. I have some picky eaters in my house. So when I hit on something like this? Joy doesn't even begin to describe!
Saying you have a teenage daughter in the house is kind of misleading. I mean, she may, technically, live here. But she's rarely home. And when she is? She's holed up in her room. Or entertaining friends in the TV room. So a day when I can knock on her door and say, "Hey, you wanna go see a movie with me?" and she's says "Sure!"? Pure joy!
My youngest is afraid of heights. And we have a massive, amazing pool slide at our neighborhood pool. It has intimidated him every season. We went to the pool last week and he finally mustered up enough nerve to go down. But it was closed. No extra guard on duty to supervise. I promised him, if the weather was still warm enough, that I'd take him today. It was. So I did. He LOVED it! And he went down a total of 21 times! We had a blast. He can't wait until next season. The joy in his face was so amazing to witness. My favorite kind of joy!
This weekend it's supposed to turn cold. Our outdoor pool in our subdivision will be closing on the 30th. I've been swimming a couple days a week since June. And this morning, I think I just had my last swim of the season. Oh sure, I might try to bring the boys this weekend. But for me, that silent, private swim time? This morning was it, I think. I might try next week, if I feel brave. But today I just want to recognize (again) how much joy swimming brings me.
I am sitting here listening to my ipod, while the boys sleep a few feet away. I've had a crummy, crummy day. Horrible. Sad. Yucky. I want to raise the roof and play my music full blast. Rock away these blues. But I can't. It's late and the boys are sleeping. Ahhh, but I have ear buds. Pop them in my little ears and blast away. Music is wiping away any sadness and the ear buds are helping to bring a little joy to a crummy day.
The boys are taking a creative writing/art class after school by a wonderful teacher here in our neighborhood. They love sharing their creations with me after class. And they're doing so many wonderful things. We have no room on the refrigerator. I've already framed many of their pieces. And there are many more to come. The thing they are not noticing is that they are learning so many wonderful skills. I'm so grateful for her energy and love for children. Miss Heather is absolutely a joy!
Spanish peanuts to be exact. I have a great cookies recipe that uses them. I sprinkle them in salads. And tonight, we had chocolate sundaes with Spanish peanuts on top. Their salty goodness with the sweet, creamy ice cream and chocolate sauce. A little bit of heaven! Make that, joy!
I may have mentioned this before but it tickles me so much, I'm mentioning it again. I find it so interesting how this blog has stayed so quiet. I have another blog. Many people comment there and in turn, I comment on their blogs. But I don't run this blog that way. I truly use it as my place to document joy. I know there are people out there peeking in. But not many. My stats spike if I visit somewhere else and comment. Which I do, on occasion, because I really enjoy some of the other positive blogs out there. But if I'm a bit absent from other blogs, this one stays quiet. And that's OK with me. I would love to know that this blog is inspiring others to take a look at their own daily joy. But this is not a popularity contest. It is not a blog for accolades and recognition. It's a blog to document joy. And the fact that I have continued for 285 posts and not actively sought that recognition brings me lots of joy!
It must be movie week here at Chez Joy. My husband came home with a previously viewed copy of the first Harry Potter movie for the boys. They had just finished the first book and they were dying to see the movie. It is so much fun, watching them watch the movie. See the characters come to life. Marveling at the magic of it all. Seeing if Snape looks like you'd picture him to look. They are having a blast with this movie and I know it's going to be one of the first requests in the car for long trips. Thank you, Harry Potter, for a little movie joy!
The boys have started their fall soccer season and it is a hoot! Six and seven year olds are too funny to watch. Some have this killer instinct, pumping their fists in the air when they make a goal. Others (like one of mine) are like Lucy from Peanuts. Watching the clouds go by, looking for four leaf clovers. Some are more interested in winning. While others can't wait for water breaks and snack time. So much fun to watch. Soccer Saturdays will absolutely bring joy.
My baby girl is 18 today. 18! How in the world did I become the mother of an adult? When did that happen? But she is so wonderful, so amazing and such a joy to be around. I am the luckiest mom in the world. Truly. A level head on her shoulders. She is bright and funny. Such a bright spot in my every day. And joy - always joy!
Love this vegetable this time of year! So crisp and fresh. A woman who has a farm nearby also has a fruit and vegetable stand that's only open a couple days a week. And she has, without a doubt, the best sweet corn I have ever tasted. On Thursday afternoons (today!) I'll go there and buy a dozen ears. We'll have some this weekend and then I'll freeze a bunch for later in the year. A weird thing to bring joy but corn does it for me today!
When I wear red it lifts my spirit. I needed lifting today so I wore my favorite red shirt. I use the color red for confidence building, for mood lifting, to turn a bad day around in any weather. I've worn it to interviews and parties. Rainy days. When I need a boost before visiting certain family members. I'm not sure what it is about this color for me - but red does it. It brings joy no matter what mood I'm in. Thank goodness!
I loved this movie way back when and my kids love it now. They ask to put it in the DVD player all the time. And no matter what I'm doing, if it's on it will distract me and I'll sit down with them and start watching. Dinner was late, yet again, because of this enjoyable distraction. A classic. And a favorite in this house. E.T. = joy!
I guess the US Open bug has bit my two youngest children. My youngest (who never asks to play tennis) just asked to play with me so we spent about 1/2 hour hitting the ball around on our driveway. Then my middle, not to be outdone, needed to show how well he could do. He and I played for another 1/2 hour. As draining as this past weekend has been, there is something therapeutic to hitting something back and forth, back and forth. A little therapy, a little tennis joy.
I typically love the weekends. But this weekend has been a killer weekend. We had four hours of soccer, two birthday parties, mountains of laundry, loads of housework, Karate class, church, and oh yeah - my brother-in-law died. Nothing has looked good today. So I'm going to find joy in the weekend ending and a new week beginning tomorrow. Here's hoping things start looking up!
I'm buried in laundry. And while I love getting it all done, I don't enjoy doing it. I've used Gain laundry detergent for years. It's become our signature "smell." When my sister was visiting a few years ago, she caught me with a different brand. She said, "You can't use this! Your smell is Gain. It's what I use at home when I'm missing you!" So today, buried in laundry, I'm going to try and focus on the wonderful smell of fresh Gain laundry. Apparently, I'm not the only one who finds joy in Gain!
When I was a kid, Friday nights meant The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. We couldn't wait. There have been a few re-runs of The Brady Bunch on TV so I thought I'd tape them and watch them with my two youngest. Thinking they might laugh or be bored, I'm stunned with how enthralled they are with the show. My husband and I are amazed at how much our boys have connected with this show of the 70's. So much so I'm thinking of buying the whole series on DVD. The Brady Bunch. Brought me joy way back when and now, bringing my boys a little joy!
I love to read cookbooks. And this book, that I stumbled upon at the library, I have been mesmerized with. The photographs are beautiful. The recipes are homey and yummy (the two I've tried, anyway.) The stories are fascinating. I've already renewed it once and I can renew it once more. But then. Back to the library it must go. I think I'm going to have to break down and buy myself a copy. Because this cookbook is full of joy.
My husband surprises me from time to time with flowers. Flowers from the grocery store florist. I once read a post from a woman complaining that her husband got her the tacky, takes-no-thought flowers from the grocery store. I couldn't comment on her post because I whole-heartedly disagreed. I don't mind getting flowers from the grocery store because, hey, my husband is getting me flowers. There are so many husbands out there who never think to get flowers for their wives. I'll take 'em when I can get 'em. Besides, flowers (from anywhere) bring me joy!
I confess. I still wash my boys hair from time to time with Johnson's Baby Shampoo. They're six and seven and I keep the shampoo under my sink. I squirt a little in my hand, put it on their heads and scrub. They love the smell, too. But if they knew that it said "Baby" on the label - they'd have a fit. So I'm not telling them. And you don't either. Because a little noggin, freshly washed with Johnson's Baby Shampoo? Joy!
I'm not a tennis player. I don't even play one on TV. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching the game. And I have so enjoyed watching the U.S. Open this past weekend. From aces to long volleys to Venus's dramatic dress tugs. I've loved it all. Such fun for me. A little bit of tennis joy!
I suppose last night was not enough. We got a telephone call this morning from one of the party couples last night. They were inviting everyone over for an impromptu pool party. They supplied the burgers and hot dogs. Just bring ourselves, our swimsuits and a dish to pass. Easy enough. I threw together a macaroni salad and a fun, nutty cheese spread with crackers. So the party continued, this time with the kids. And it was so relaxing. Unexpected joy is sometimes the best kind of joy.
An adult party. Now, get your mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about a real party. With no kids. Just couples. Laughing. Talking. Eating. A little drinking. Listening to music. Telling jokes. Sharing stories. Between taking my kids to birthday parties at Monkey Joe's and the swimming pool I was ready for an adults only kind of affair. So much fun. But it's way past my bedtime. I'll be paying for this tomorrow. But for tonight? Just joy.
A break in the routine. A chance for my husband to be home for more than 12 hours at a stretch. A time for our family to re-connect and enjoy each other. We have so few plans for this holiday weekend - it is heavenly. I can't wait for it to begin. And it starts right about.....now! Joy! (Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!)
I'm trying to get my family to eat more beans and less meat. Typically, a bean dish is sneered at. Negotiations begin and it's a battle to get my kids to eat. Even my husband (who is in health care) will turn his nose up. But tonight? Everyone loved my bean and rice dish! OK. Loved might be too strong a word but they definitely liked it. No negotiating how much to eat before they could leave the table. No "I'm not hungry" and making other plans (my teenager and husband). Everyone ate it. And everyone liked it. Success! And joy!
I have been a member of the pool committee in our subdivision for the last three years. I feel a deep commitment to my community. But three years has been enough. Through the process I felt I've made a difference in keeping our pool a safe, fun environment. But I've also met many neighbors that, because of their behavior at the pool or interactions with the committee regarding a variety of rules or infractions, I've learned that I never want to associate with. A valuable experience all around. And it's over! Now that's 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.