Finding joy: the “rules”

When Harper woke up in a cheery mood today I knew it was going to be a good day.

Side note: I’ve found that Harper’s mood sometimes sets the mood for our family.  When she’s happy, we’re happy.  When she’s grumpy, we’re grumpy.  Then we spend the next bit trying to de-grump and have fun, which usually requires us getting out of the house and doing something fun (like going to the park or running errands).  I wish that wasn’t the case but more often than not, it is.  I’m definitely not someone who is going to tell you that our life, especially when it comes to parenting, is rainbows and sunshine.  Welcome to the truth my friends!

I made scones for breakfast, enjoyed Sesame Street on Netflix and then attempted to put Harper down for her morning nap before we left to celebrate Jayce’s first birthday.  Harper’s nap didn’t happen so we decided to just get out of the house (see side note above) and drive.  Within 10 minutes of leaving Harper was passed out (praise Jesus!) and Carl and I spent the rest of the car ride talking about the day when we’d eventually have enough money to buy the house of our dreams WITHOUT ever having to pay damn PMI.  Okay maybe not the house of our dreams, but what we’d like to move into within the next 1-2 years:  a house on 1/4 acre, three bedrooms + office + playroom, two car garage, open floor plan for the kitchen/living room/dining room, doesn’t need too much work, has rooms that are a good size, and costs between $125,000 and $150,000.  Yeah, stop laughing.

In my last post I shared our family word of the year, joy.  As we were driving and chatting, I realized that I wanted to actively seek out joy today.  That’s where I came up with the “rules”.  Obviously these aren’t really rules but a way for me to keep track of how these awesome moments of joy deserve to be celebrated.

Rule 1: Never pass by a park without playing.

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On our way home from Jayce’s party we passed a street that Carl wanted to check out.  It’s by a creek and a friend of his told him that there was a place that he could put his kayak in.  It was a completely spur of the moment stop, and if I’m being honest one I’d usually blow off, since we’d left the party because Harper said she wanted to take a nap.  The split second decision that I made turned out to be so much fun because we found a park!  As we pulled around the little circle drive, Harper saw the park with its slides, swings, and giant open space and said, “PLAY!”.  So we did.  What was neat about the park is that there were a few trails that went back to the creek that Carl was looking for and it was just beautiful.  I’m so glad that we stopped and enjoyed some time playing out in nature today!

Rule 2: Always have a travel potty in the car.  Always.

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Two weeks ago Harper decided that she wanted to start potty training.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Harper decided, not us.  We’d bought a potty chair, a children’s book, panties and had been talking about going potty “like a big girl” for a few months now, but we didn’t have an official start date.   Apparently Harper did.  Harper decided she was ready to quit using diapers (she pulled off her shorts, pulled at her diaper, and said “panties!”) and our adventure began!  The first week was rough (I swear I’ve never done so much laundry in my life, not even when she was first born!) and Ms. Luz is still dealing with the poop accidents during the day (bless that woman!), but Harper is doing so well telling us that she has to go to the bathroom.  I wasn’t taking any chances while we were out, though, and went ahead and purchased a travel potty.  Best. Purchase. Ever.

Rule 3:  Celebrate birthdays!  Happy birthday, Jayce!

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Today we took the time to celebrate Jayce’s birthday!  We don’t celebrate birthdays nearly enough so I’m really glad that we made Jayce’s birthday a priority.  It was so nice to connect with our friends and get our kids together to play and I’m looking forward to playing more often!

Rule 4: Eat milkshakes.  Maybe not every day, but some days just deserve a milkshake.

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Is there really anything else to say about how it’s okay to indulge every once in a while?  I didn’t think so.  Just do it!

Rule 5: Keep the fridge packed with healthy food options to make great meals for the week.  Bonus was shopping after 8pm and having Publix almost completely to myself.

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While this is nothing compared to what our fridge looks like after a trip to Costco, it was so nice to get the grocery shopping for the week finished before Sunday!  It was a little after 8pm before I decided to go to Publix and I’m so glad that I did because now the shopping is FINISHED and there was hardly anyone at the store.  Bonus!

I know that not every day will be filled with this many joyful things, but it was certainly nice to acknowledge them today.  I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Where did you find joy today? 

What would your “rules” be for finding joy?

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