Just a Thought…

Amen to that! No matter what the day holds for me, it’s a blessing. Some days are more productive than others, some are just plain better than others. But no matter what, there’s good in every single day — even if I have to look a little harder for it.

My husband and I have had colds and the flu for most of this month. He came down with it New Year’s Eve, and I got sick mid January. Despite antibiotics, lots of sleep, and lots of liquids, it’s been tough to get rid of. We’ve been saying to each other, “I’m so tired of being tired.” And “I’m so sick of feeling sick.”

But through it all, we’ve tried to be positive and focus on the small improvements. Thankfully, we’re both doing much better.

It feels so good to feel good!

Make today amazing!!

Jenny

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First image courtesy of Victory Today

Second image courtesy of here

Beauty Within

when he wanted to take her picture,

I saw this quote on a friend’s Instagram post and loved it. It feels amazing when someone we care for brings out the best in us.

That true happiness and pure contentment which brings us joy, radiates outward. The inside beauty shines through in acts of kindness, compassion, and love for each other.

When I know I don’t look so great, in fact, I’m a total mess — my hair frizzy and out of control, no makeup on, my face sweaty and grimy with dirt from working in the garden —  my husband, Alex, will say, “You’re still beautiful to me.”

I might roll my eyes and blurt out, “Oh, yeah, right!” But he always makes me smile. He makes me laugh. And I know that deep down, I am beautiful to him, no matter what.

When our oldest daughter, Mackenzie, was one year old, Alex and I took her to a department store photo studio to get her picture taken. She wore a white, ruffly dress. A small satin bow held wisps of her hair. I took off her patent leather shoes and let her go barefoot. She sat on a platform, covered with a white fur rug. Her chubby feet with little pink toes looked so cute. She was adorable.

But Mackenzie was not impressed. She would NOT smile.

The photographer tried everything. She made funny faces, talked in silly voices, squeaked toys. Nothing worked. Mackenzie was on the verge of tears.

That is, until Alex picked up her favorite stuffed toy, a small Big Bird.  He threw it in the air, saying “Whee!” and caught it. She smiled. He did it again and she giggled. He threw Big Bird high in the air one more time, and Mackenzie let out a hearty laugh. The photographer got some great shots.

Now, every time I glance at that framed photo in the hallway, I smile, as I remember that day and why our little girl had that joyous look on her face.

The love for her daddy started within and beamed outward, for everyone to see.

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Second image courtesy of here

Third image courtesy of here

 

Just a Reminder…

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I love bunnies, so when I saw this on @psychologythings Instagram account, it made me smile.

Sometimes we need this little reminder.

Be kind to yourself. Believe in yourself.

You are amazing and you’re going to be great today!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Jenny

Just a Thought…

Every little thing's gonna be alright - Bob Marley :) Quote - Inspiring Inspirational Sayings / Quotes / Song Lyrics:

Sometimes we need this reminder.

My sister has had a rough week. She was laid off her job, which she worked at and dedicated herself to for sixteen years. Her emotions range from complete shock and devastation, to worry, sadness, anger, and despair. But there’s also hope and anticipation for good things to come, as she navigates her new journey. She believes there’s something better for her, that God has a plan. My sister’s strength and positive attitude amaze me.

We all have challenges. And sometimes it can be really hard to be positive.

But close your eyes, take a deep breath in, slowly let it out. Think calming, peaceful thoughts. Everything will be alright.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Jenny

 

Image courtesy of here

Just a Thought…

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This quote is timely because of the U.S. presidential election. But this post isn’t about politics.

It’s about never giving up.

If a situation is too difficult or complicated, I tend to get overwhelmed and want to stop. Give up.

When my husband points this out, I feel frustrated and disagree. “I’m not giving up. It just isn’t working!” It’s hard to admit, but I know he’s right.

I sincerely appreciate his encouragement. It’s made me a better person, more willing and able to keep forging ahead.

Here’s some of my husband’s advice, which I do my best to follow:

  •  Be persistent.
  • Take the initiative. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.
  • If there’s an obstacle in your way, change paths.
  • There are more ways than one to reach your destination.
  • Put more time in to solving the issue.
  • If one person can’t help you, talk to someone who can.
  • Either find a way or make one.
  • Do not give up.

It’s still challenging for me if things don’t fall into place according to my timing. But I’ve learned to be patient and take small steps toward the main goal. To stay diligent and not expect miracles overnight.

The most important thing? Never give up hope.

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Just a Thought…

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I love this quote because it’s so true in my life. I have a handful of close friends who I know will always be there for me, and me for them. It doesn’t matter how long it’s been since we’ve talked, we pick up right where we left off. We can be thousands of miles away, but it’s like we’re next door.

It isn’t easy to develop close friendships. It takes time, effort, and a special connection. My mom has always said most people can count their true friends on one hand.

When life happens–we get married, move, have children, advance in our career–those true friends let go, and let us grow. Because they’re growing too.

Time passes, and circumstances change. There’s comfort in knowing those friends will be there. It’s like they’re holding an invisible long, twisty string that binds our lives together.

There’s nothing like talking to girlfriends. Every Thursday morning, two of my closest friends and I go for a walk with our dogs. We chat about anything and everything. We’re there for each other to listen. To help solve problems. To laugh. We need those walks.

One of my “walking friends” works full time. When she started her job, she was able to arrange her schedule to go in a little later on Thursday mornings to accommodate our walks. She never mentioned the reason why. One Thursday she had to go to the office early because she was swamped. An employee asked, “Why are you here? Aren’t you supposed to be at your therapy appointment?”

I can just imagine the look on her face. She laughed and had no idea her co-workers thought the reason she couldn’t come in early on Thursdays was due to a therapy session.

But actually, it’s not that far off.

Image courtesy of here

Happy Things

The first time I heard this quote, my girls were very young. My mom printed it out and framed it for me. It’s been on my desk ever since. It reminds me to take notice of the joys in life, both big and small. To embrace them.

My nephew and his wife had their third baby last week. I visited them in the hospital with my husband and our 21-year-old daughter, Talee. My great niece was two-days-old. She’s healthy, beautiful, perfect. Her cry is sweet. Her tiny hands and feet are precious.Her whole life is ahead of her, waiting for her to discover it.

When I held her, it reminded me of holding my two lovely babies. My husband held her, and I had flashbacks of him with our newborns. Talee held her, and I could easily see her becoming a mom.

Moments that take my breath away. Pure happiness.

Last week, Lulu of The Real Adventures of Becoming Me, nominated me for the Happiness Tag Challenge. Lulu is one of my oldest blogging friends. She’s amazing! Please visit her beautiful blog. I always appreciate her wonderful insight and inspiration. Thank you Lulu!

Five things that make me happy:

  1. Being with my family. I’m so excited because we leave tomorrow on a family vacation. We’re super close, and I’m very grateful for that. My parents live near us, so I see them often. I love to cook for everyone, and sit around the table eating, laughing, and sharing stories.
  2. The Fall. My favorite season is almost here! Cooler weather, boots, scarves, the fireplace on, football games, pumpkin lattes. Yay!
  3. Baking chocolate chip cookies for my husband. This is his favorite dessert, and it makes me happy to make him happy.
  4. Taking long walks in the mountains. It feels great to take a break from my busy life and go for a hike. I take deep breaths and can feel the stress leave my body. Being in nature reminds me to slow down.
  5. Writing. It’s therapeutic to put my thoughts on paper (or on the computer).  I never thought I’d love blogging as much as I do. Sometimes I start a story and it ends up taking a much different turn than I intended. And that’s fun. It gives my mind a chance to wander and to record my feelings.

Five songs that make me happy:

It’s hard to pick just a few. But here are some of my favorites…

  1. “Good to Be Alive” by Andy Grammer
  2. “Halo” by Beyonce
  3. “Freckles” by Natasha Bedingfield
  4. “H.O.L.Y” by Florida Georgia Line
  5. “Feel This Moment” by Pitbull and Christina Aguilera

True happiness needs to be passed on! I nominate the following bloggers (whose writing often brings me much gratitude and joy) to continue the happiness tag by writing about five things that make them happy and five songs that stir happiness in their hearts.

Happiness Tags:

Lori at Lori Greer in Portland

B.G. at Getting Through Anxiety

Tikeetha at A Thomas Point of View

Jen at The Anxiety Chronicles

itsgoodtobecrazysometimes at My Crazy Life

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Just a thought…

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I’m not a daring person. It isn’t easy for me to try new things and stretch out of my comfort zone. But when I do, I’m glad I made the effort. I often need a gentle nudge (or hard push) from my husband or daughters.

I don’t mean climb Mount Everest or jump out of an airplane. I’m sure I’ll never do those things. What I’m talking about is participating in activities that make me uncomfortable and even anxious, but deep inside, I know they’d be good for me. Like go to a party where I don’t know many people, submit an article to a publisher and not be afraid of rejection, or try a new skill.

I love to hike in the mountains. I’m happiest when there’s a wide, flat path. I don’t like precarious, steep, narrow walkways. I’m nervous to climb on rocks. There have been many times I’ve wanted to turn back, but my family has given me extra encouragement to carry on. “Come on, Mom, it’s not that bad! You’ll love it once you get up here!” I don’t want to disappoint them, or myself. So I trudge on.

When I arrive, my husband and girls are so proud of me. I’m proud of me too. There have been many gorgeous waterfalls and stunning views I never would’ve seen, had I not pushed myself. I would’ve missed witnessing those splendors with my family.

I don’t want to be in a rut and live a boring life. I want to reach higher to achieve my goals. I want to go on adventures, make new friends, and travel to exotic lands. I want to get the most out of every single day.

Life is for experiencing. For living.

~Jenny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a Thought…

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Several months ago, I saw comedian Tracy Morgan interviewed on The Today Show. He’d  been a regular on Saturday Night Live. In 2014, he was in a horrific car crash which left him in a coma. His recovery is nothing short of miraculous.

He talked about how his life has changed and how difficult recovery has been. He said he hoped that one day he’d return to host SNL. And then he said, “Happiness is having something to look forward to.” Such a simple statement, yet packed with so much meaning.

If we don’t have anything to look forward to, we don’t have hope.  I’ve never suffered from depression, but my mom has. She was in such a dark place, she didn’t know how she’d ever get out of it.

Thankfully, hope returned, and she felt that her life was worth living. Antidepressant medication was her miracle.

Every day I think of things I’m excited about, big or small. Maybe I can’t wait to go for a walk in the mountains with my husband and our dog, have lunch with a friend, or spend time in my garden. And there are long term goals to anticipate, like a family vacation, my daughter’s college graduation, or a family member’s wedding.

This week I’m taking my mom to lunch near the beach. I can’t wait!

And neither can she.