Tuesday, June 26

My Happy Place

window seatWhen my husband and I were planning our home over 13 years ago, life was a lot simpler.  We envisioned a warm and comfortable home in which we would grow our family and simply share life’s happy journey together.  One of my favorite design features was the big, comfy window seat in our bedroom in which I dreamed of relaxing while reading a good book.  This was my planned “happy place”.

By the time we moved into our new home, our simple life had already changed to be something more.  We had an amazing one-year old son who already had quite the vocabulary, however, ‘relax’ was not in it.  Therefore, my big, comfy window seat was not used for relaxing and reading, but instead was used for activities such as showcasing the folded laundry from the days before that hadn’t made it into drawers yet.  At times, I would glance longingly at the laundry showcase on my way to join my son in his room and explore the many pages of his collection of books.  Even though relaxing in the comfort of my window seat was a distant dream at that point, I actually found that sitting in the floor with my son while the sunshine streamed in through his windows was my new ‘happy place’.

Before long, our daughter joined the family and our life continued to become more than simple.  My window seat was still big and comfy... and holding folded laundry... and the occasional extra bags of newly purchased baby supplies.  Again, I would wistfully glance over as I passed by this utilitarian bench under my bedroom window while carrying my bundle of bouncing brown curls on our way to join her big brother in the playroom.  There were many days of hanging out in the playroom while I nursed my daughter and giggled as Buzz Lightyear ran circles around us in the form of my 3 year old son.  I found that this too was a very ‘happy place’ to be.

The years have moved on and our life continues to be something more than simple - something so much more.  But now, I find ‘happy places’ in the simplest of moments, like my son throwing a baseball with his Dad in the backyard, or my daughter cartwheeling to get to wherever she is going, or leisurely roasting marshmallows over the fire with friends.  Yes, I’m lucky to say that life is not simple.  At times, it is just plain fast and furious.  But now, I realize that I have so many ‘happy places’.  Today, I am sitting in my big, comfy window seat overlooking the beauty of nature in our backyard and reflecting on the many wonderful simple pleasures in our not-so-simple life.  Today, this is my ‘happy place’ and a good book just may be calling.

Monday, June 18

Jammin’ With My Daughter

Strawberry season always brings to mind fond memories of helping my Mom make homemade jam.  It is such a vivid and happy memory from my childhood that the thought of the newly-made jam spread on top of warm buttered toast makes my mouth begin to water.  So I was excited that my daughter was eager this year to participate for the first time in the jam-making process.  She quickly cleared the counters, found the empty jars in the pantry, and readied herself to dive right in!  I put her to work cleaning and chopping her favorite fruit while I prepared the hot jars.  We made a great team as we made 2 dozen beautiful jars of the bright red jam.  We had so much fun together and celebrated each and every jar’s “pop” as it sealed tight!!  Later, the whole family enjoyed the freshly-made jam... on top of warm buttered toast.  I can only hope this is a memory for her that will last another lifetime.
jars of homemade strawberry jam