if you try picking 10 things that bring you happiness, you will realize just how amazingly blessed you are.
i thought about my top 10 all morning long. what to include, and if there were any loop-holes i could use to cheat my way into loading a few joys into one answer. and yes, i found a few. :-)
these are 10 things that make me happy:
BEING IN NATURE.this photo makes me happy every time i look at it. it was summer, i was fit and freckled, kiki and i were enjoying an instant of pure joy, and my husband was there with us to record the moment. it combines so many things i love, like kiki, my husband, and nature. nature has proven itself to be the greatest healer, the biggest inspiration, and the most sacred church. i visit with nature every day, explore her, and simultaneously explore my own thoughts and my own self. i have had most, if not all, of my aha! moments while lost in thought walking through nature. i hope i am always blessed with the gift of living where nature is abundant and welcoming.
BEING MARRIED TO MY BEST FRIENDin february we will have been in love for 11 years. i still have to pinch myself sometimes, because i can't believe how lucky i am to live with the person who is perfect for me, who thinks i'm funny and pretty, who takes me as i am and yet inspires me to become a better person. plus, he's gorgeous.
you can read a little piece of our love story here ,
and little bits of married life here .
KIKIthis picture was taken the day ramon and i went to the breeder to choose a puppy. when we walked in and saw three adorable puppies, playing clumsily with their squishy paws and button noses, i told ramon, "i don't think i can choose...how on earth can we choose?"
so i sat and watched while ramon horsed around with one of the puppies. as i watched, one of the puppies ambled up to me and, with great effort, crawled up into my lap. she nuzzled her body against my arm and fell asleep. "this is the one," i thought, feeling the fast, tiny heart beat against my skin. i looked over at ramon and said, "i think this is kiki." soon after, she opened her eyes and looked up at me. her look told me: "i'm her, i'm kiki!" ramon took this photo, which we've named 'the look,' because that's what she was giving me: the look of looks, the one that let me know that this sweet being wanted to come join our family and live with us. and she makes me happy. she makes us happy. i cannot imagine life being half as fun and enjoyable without her. there's a whole lot of kiki to be enjoyed on this blog; for photos and stories, click here .
SUSAN BRANCHsince discovering her books a few years back, i have been inspired to paint and write what i love, because that's what she does. before i knew her work, there were these things bubbling inside of me, almost unknown to me...a love for baking, nature, good people, and creating little bits of beauty....and when i first held her book 'autumn' in my hands, it was like i finally saw a huge part of me i hadn't ever let exist before, because i didn't know it existed in the world at all! we met one day, and to my great pleasure, she is quickly becoming a good friend, someone i love being in touch with, someone who is every bit as funny and sweet as the pictures and words she shares with everyone. she is a bright light in my life. i am so glad she is here in the world, uplifting hearts and spreading joy. you can follow her through the seasons here on her beautiful website , where a warm fuzzy feeling is guaranteed.
BLOGGINGyes, blogging makes me happy!!! happier than i ever thought it would. initially i blogged as a way of keeping a journal which included photographs. i liked looking back over a week of blog entries and seeing myself, my life, reflected there. over time, people began stopping by and leaving little comments. (ya you!) a whole new dimension of blogging was introduced to me...Oh, there are people out there, nice people, who are reading what you are writing and looking at your world through your photographs! i may not have the biggest following, but i appreciate each and every one of you, who have been here in good times and heartbreaking times, who cheer me on in your own sweet, subtle ways, and make me feel like i'm not such a loner after all. :-) blogging is definitely one of my favorite parts of the day. it's like a grown-up (or not so grown-up) version of show-and-tell. yes. blogging definitely makes me happy.
SWEETSi don't want to live a life without sweets. i love sweets. sweets make me happy. they make me feel like a kid, like a kid doing the jig, like a kid licking a wooden spoon of cookie batter and picking sprinkles off a tower of frosting with their teeth. i love visiting someone and being offered something sweet. i get very excited, but keep a cool exterior...because grown-ups aren't supposed to jump up and down or yell 'yipeeee!' when they are presented with a cupcake or a plate of cookies. i smile and say thank you on the outside, but on the inside i'm doing cartwheels. and i still find it deliciously delightful to have a stash of sweets i can snatch something from any time i want. ha-ha, i feel like chanting...i'm a grown-up and i can eat candy whenever i want!
NEW ENGLANDi am homesick for it even though it's never been my home. just the words, new england, make me happy. the buildings, the autumn woods, the bucolic towns and hearty meals. i hope with all my heart that my husband and i will grow old together in new england. you see this amazing is-that real-or-a-painting place in the picture? that's shelburne farms in vermont. click here to read about it and see more photos. they have a working farm, an inn, and a farmstore. talk about dreamy.
LETTERSi love love love opening my mailbox and seeing a letter or a package with my name on it! letters mean i get to enjoy a mixture of lovely things: friendship, pretty cards or paper, and the thought that someone thought of me. writing letters has become somewhat of a lost art to the majority of the world, so i am grateful to know a few people now who enjoy writing and receiving letters and parcels as much as i do. i think my love for letters is one of the reasons i enjoy your comments so much. they are like little reminders that there are kind and like-minded people out there. i feel less alone in this great big world. and it's always nice to know someone out there thinks you are an ok gal.
PUMPKINSi don't care, i'm not ashamed to say it...pumpkins made it into my top 10 happy list. they are plump, humble, delicious, fragrant, beautifully varied, and magical.
they really have the ability to make me smile just by sitting there, being their fat little selves. my love for pumpkins is very evident here .
by the way, this photo is courtesy of country living magazine , which definitely makes me happy every time it appears in the mailbox.
BEING MEas many of you know, my life isn't always pure joy. it isn't always laughter, and it isn't made up solely of the things that make me happy. but i love it. i love my life. i love getting to know who i am; i love living in the austrian countryside, surrounded by nature which feeds and inspires me; i love discovering talents i didn't know i had; i love meeting kindred spirits, people who are like twinkling lights glowing their goodness around the globe; i love being a wife to a man i adore; i love those moments when something which brought me so much pain changes in front of my eyes into something that was absolutely perfect and meant to be, something i learned from and now understand; i love having the years ahead of me to look forward to, the seasons upon seasons, the days just waiting to be filled up with beauty and laughter and lessons and adventure. i love being me. being me makes me happy.
these bloggers make me happy. that's why i have chosen them as the next 10 recipients of this fun award.
i hope they will take part...wouldn't we all like to read their lists?
1. lovely blaire @ b-mused2. warm-hearted johanna @ birds on a wire
3. charming rachel @ lovely clusters
4. courageous katrina @ kat's cradle
5. creative silke @ metamorphosis
6. thoughtful courtney @ scattering lupines
7. enviable emerson @ emersonmade
8. hilarious mette @ the muffin blog
9. passionate lauren @ cat of curiosity
10. delightful heather @ a day in the country
they are to copy the 'happy 101' picture at the top of this post, and include it in a post all about their 10 happy things.
p..s. i was awarded this opportunity by my dear friend morwenna. if chickens, the english coast, optimism and generosity of spirit make you happy, visit her blog bluebells and butterflies.
hope you enjoyed reading my list....hope it made you happy! :-)
xoxo country girl