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?