be happy


A friend recently asked me what I ultimately wanted out of my life.  She was probing at my goals, hopes and dreams, and aspirations.  I could have gone into detail after detail about how I wanted to be this and that and oh that other thing too.  How I’ve dreamed of creating and healing and traveling.  Spending time with my children and my family, taking vacations, and building a beautiful home.  How I wanted it all!  But my answer turned out to be one simple word – happiness.  Of all the things in the entire world, happiness to me is the number one thing I want out of  life.

I don’t mean the materialistic “more, more, more” happiness.  The kind that is pushed upon us daily.  This sort of pop culture, money-mongering, consumer-obsessed world that I can never keep up with, nor would I want to.  I mean the mind and gut wrenching, dig deep inside myself, pure happiness.  The kind that flows through our bodies and hearts, and transcends blissfully onto others.  A happiness that centers upon connecting and giving.

Maintaining a happy life means different things to different people.  I try to maintain happiness in my own life by being consciously aware of my presence, actions, and impacts.

Below are six tips I’ve compiled to help create happiness in my life:

1. Understand that you can be happy, you deserve to be happy, and you should be happy.  It’s so much easier to appreciate the world around you with a smile on your face.  (Your kids will certainly appreciate it too.)

2. Actively set and pursue your goals. If something goes awry (and it will), don’t give up.  Use that energy to push forward and not to wallow in self-pity.  Nothing worth fighting for is ever easy.

3. Surround yourself with positive people and positive influences.  Your circle of friends, co-workers, and fellow moms have an exceedingly great influence in your life.  Leave the negativity behind.

4. Take the time to turn inward and learn more about yourself as a woman, a mother, a friend.  Recognize and focus on what fulfills and inspires you.

5. Mainstream your health.  Actively participate in supporting your body’s health and your family’s health through proper nutrition, exercise, and meditation.

6. Be thankful for all you have been given.  Blessings come in all different shapes and sizes.  (This includes over-flowing laundry baskets, work deadlines, and messy bedrooms.)

Happiness may not be easy to define into words, but it’s easy to find.  It surrounds us every single day.  It is the bright yellow sun in a big blue sky.  It is a thunderstorm in a sea of clouds.  It is counting your newborn’s ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes.  It is kissing boo-boos and playing hide and seek.  It is making jelly sandwiches and doing cartwheels on the front lawn.  It is holding hands and counting to ten.  It is taking a deep breath and jumping in.

Happiness is giving others around you the gifts you have found within yourself.

Happiness is being a mother, a wife, a friend.

Happiness is me.

in the moment

Be in the moment.

Be in the moment.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Hold on to it.


Hold on to it.



Oh yes! A record ten seconds to clear my head!

Live in the moment.  We hear this saying all the time in some form or another.  Whether it be in a yoga class, philosophy book, or from the older lady at Target who is keen on observing our primo mommying adventures.  But what does it really mean to us as mothers?  Frankly, I find it extremely hard to “be” in the moment as a mom.  I am constantly on the go, go, go.  With housework and work work  and play dates and nap time and bedtime and lunch time and freak-out time (the kids, not me—OK, me too!), there never seems like enough time in the day to actually exist in the moment.  As a mother to small children, I feel like I am constantly battling.  I’m battling laundry and dishes and dirty floors and messy bedrooms and scraped knees and melt-downs.  All the while leaving me exhausted and short-tempered, craving a piece of chocolate cake and a shower.

To revel in a clear mind and a calm body, it feels foreign to most.  And it shouldn’t.  Maybe the definition of living in the moment has everything to do with the jumbled and discombobulated life I do live and nothing to do with the life I perceive it to represent.  Not yearning for the past when I was flying solo or a future that holds the next best thing to make my life easier.  The clean house that I strive for or the live-in nanny that I will never have, but dream about often.  Maybe if I stopped fighting the daily chores and the sleepless nights, my mind would awaken to the revelation that, YES! this is my moment.  Every day with my children and my husband.  The good, the bad, the pee all over the bathroom, they all lead me to me.

in summer

 Ah yes, it’s officially summer.  Both kids are home now and the craziness has begun.  I have to admit, underneath the layers of exhaustion, sweat, sand, and fingerpaint – we are having a ball.  It seems as though we’ve already established a summer day routine at our house.  We all wake up bright and early, around 6:30 am to be exact.  Every. Single. Day.  Like clockwork, my kids are up and at ’em eager to rock and roll the day ahead.  I on the other hand, pray a little prayer every night for extra sleep-in time, but it never happens.  Needless to say, I’ve learned to embrace the wee hours of the morning.  We start our day with a nice breakfast together and before I know it I’m blowing up pool floats, endlessly re-strapping swimming goggles (what is up with those things?), and judging gymnastics contests.  Between water tables, sprinklers, and playing tag, my kids are all go, go, go.  They are on a mission and the number one task at hand is to play, play, play!  Not even bathing suit wedgies, blinding sand in the eyes, or pool water up the nose can stop them.  And it’s only 10:00 am.  Seriously, if our day ended at noon, the only thing my kids would be missing is the sunset.

There’s just something about summer-time that makes everything a bit better.  After all, the grass is finally greener, the smell in the air is sweeter, and spirits are freer.  Why would anyone complain?  Life is good.  And life is especially good in the summer.

It’s energy.  It’s beauty.  It’s pure joy.

It’s what you make it.

Don’t you agree?