Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Life Could be a Sitcom

Do you ever feel like your life could be a sitcom? Not just any old sitcom, but a long lasting sitcom? My previous posts have been about noticing the joy - the beauty. After I wrote one of my last posts, I reread some of my older posts and felt that it was a little "heavy" and felt that if anyone is actually reading this blog then I have some explaining to do.

Because you see, I am usually not this serious. I joke. I laugh. I play.

But, I have been married for almost 15 years, which is pretty much for my whole adult life (well almost). I am the mother of 3 children who are 11, almost 9, and 6. So basically for the last 15 years they have been my priority. They have been my joy, my sorrow, but mostly my laughter. There have been days that I had to laugh, because I would have cried. There have been days that I have cried. But there have been more times that I thought, I could write a book. My day to day life is funny. I usually laugh at the situations in my life (usually). The past year has been a difficult one and in addition to losing my way, my sitcom has been on hiatus.

When my friend made the comment that I should write a blog, it was because of a sitcom moment. I was laughing. I was carrying on with my antics. She was laughing. So when I refer to noticing and finding my joy, I am also reminding myself that I miss laughing at my sitcom. Hopefully some of the episodes will be on repeat and I will be able to share them with you.

Share the laughter.

Share my sitcom!

I wonder if CBS or ABC are looking for a new one!

One Word Project

This concept intrigues me.

This idea makes me think it might be too much pressure.

This project can possibly change my life or so I have been told.

It is the One Word Project. I believe it started with Ali Edwards, the scrapbooker, photographer, crafter; but I think it has taken on a life of it's own. It is all over the web.

So when I heard about it, I chose a word instantly. Ironically (or should I say that I think it is kind of corny), my word is joy. Corny, because it is also my name. But my goal in chosing this word is to seek joy - celebrate joy - and manifest joy.

When I stop and think about it there are many things that bring me joy, but I don't give the joy enough attention. I don't manifest the joy I am feeling - I don't show it clearly. So, I am going to work on it. Because I feel joy from so many things.

My kids.

My husband.

My friends.


Decorating Blogs (I am addicted).





And the list could go on and on. So, from this day forward I am going to manifest my joy. I am going to celebrate it.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Beautiful Mess

Beautiful Mess? Are you kidding me? A mess is supposed to be beautiful? Well, yes I guess it can be - if and only if....

You train yourself to think so.

My daughter is the Queen of the "beautiful mess." She is spunky, creative, and a beautiful almost 9 year old girl. She is also messy. She drops things all over the place - backpack on the stairs, boots under the breakfast bar, coat on the chair, etc. You get the picture. She is also the girl who plays with everything at the same time.

Generally I see her mess as just that - a mess. I see disorganization. I see disaster. But the other day on Picture Winter the prompt was Beautiful Mess. I knew exactly where to go to get my shot. I knew that once the door swung open the "set" would be ready for me to begin shooting. It was a given.

As I got down on the floor to take a picture of what was there, I saw something different. I saw her mare and foal standing side by side. Mother and Baby. I saw her "play" set that she spent the afternoon creating still taped to the wall. The memory of her having her father, brothers, and I sitting on the bed while she read her play sprang into my mind. I saw beauty. I saw creativity. I saw her.

I need order to function. She needs space to create. I need things to be put in their place. She needs to see it, touch it, and play it. This prompt made me see her for who she is. My beautiful mess and today I appreciate it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Teaching Humility

My 11 year old son is a hockey star. This isn't my opinion; it is the opinion of others. I don't know the first things about judging hockey skill. The puck in the net skill is apparent, but my eyes are not skilled to see any of the other necessary skills.

In the past month he was selected to be on two All-Star teams. One is a local tournament team and the other is Team NH for 99's (their birth year). He will be representing our state for his division in a New England tournament. It is such an honor and he should be very proud of this accompishment. But there is a fine line. A line I am not sure how to teach and after reading the definitions of the word humble and proud, I am even more unclear about this very fine line.

hum·ble –adjective
1. not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble although successful.
2. having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience, etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I felt very humble.

proud  –adjective
1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honorable or creditable to oneself (often fol. by of, an infinitive, or a clause).
2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.
3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

I want him to have a

feeling of pleasure or satistaction over something

It is a big deal to be selected for these prestigious teams; but more than proud, I want him to feel humble -

not proud or arrogant; modest.

How can you teach modesty without taking away from the moment? My husband and I don't make a "big" deal out of these accomplishments, because of the fear of arrogance. My son knows he is good and he should be proud, right?

I explained to him that being selected for these teams brought glory, but also gave him a lot of responsibility. The responsibility to act accordingly; to be respectful and to act like an All Star. Being an All Star means portraying humility. Still, I don't think he got it. I don't know how to teach this lesson.

As a child my accomplishments were not celebrated. Being the youngest of 10 and having older parents, there wasn't a lot of praise when it came to me. It was okay, but now I don't know how to teach this lesson; make my son proud and humble. Any suggestions?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


Everyday I wake up and can't wait to read the daily prompt. I jump out of bed and flip open the lap top. It is something to look forward to - a little present in the morning. Everyday I read the inspirational email and a photo pops into mind without a lot of contemplation. Most days I just go with that initial image.

Well on day 10 I was stumped. Absolutely blank.

Are you wondering what the prompt was?

Simple. It was "Seeking Balance."

It is a common term. I even think it is sometimes over used.

"I need to find balance."

"I need to balance work and family."

"I spend too much time running around. I need more balance."

So since Day 10 it has bothered me. Why can't I come up with a photo? Why isn't it just popping into my head like the others. I even started a post, but couldn't finish the entry. The more I thought about it, the more I thought about what balance means to me. And then it came to me. I think it is a choice. I think we chose how to spend our time and I think we chose to be unbalanced.

Let me explain.

If your child had a soccer game, would you say, "Sorry Johnny. We can't go to your game today. I have to go take photos for my class."

If your friend asked you to give them a ride to pick up their car that was in the shop, would you say, "Oh, I am sorry. I can't today. I am on my way to the gym."

Most of us just wouldn't respond this way. We would choose to take our child to their soccer game. We would choose to help our friend out. Still when it comes to doing something for ourselves we don't; therefore, becoming unbalanced.

Choosing to not take time to do things for myself causes me to be unbalanced. Doing too much of one thing causes me to be unbalanced. It is not about finding the time to do the things that keep me balanced, it is about taking the time - even if something else has to give. And if you are wondering. I still haven't taken a photo interpreting "Seeking Balance." When something strikes me as appropriate I will snap away!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Different Kind of Story

My routine is always the same.

Drop everyone off and call her for a 2 minute telephone call. My best friend.
We can cover a lot in 2 minutes. We can change each other’s mood in 2 minutes. We can brighten each other’s day. I know her. She knows me. We know each other.

This morning as she laughed at my antics she said, “You should write a blog.”
I quietly contemplated telling her. You see, no one knows about my blog. I haven’t told anyone. I posted it on Picture Winter, so the only people who know about it are those who click on my profile and discover it. I haven’t shared this new piece of me.

Yesterday’s prompt on Picture Winter was “A Different Kind of Story.” A sharing place. A tell us something about you prompt. I found it so intriguing. A little peek into someone else’s life. I loved reading everyone’s descriptions. I loved the interpretation. I loved the sharing.

So today I shared with my best friend. When she said, “You should write a blog.” Although delayed, my response was, "Well actually I started one. But I am not ready to share it."
But that is silly, isn’t it.
I talk to her every day. I share all my stories with her, I mean ALL my stories. She knows my story. I know her story. Why would I want to “hide” this from her? Why would I want to keep something from my best friend?

Would she think it is corny? I know her, she wouldn’t.
Would she think I had gone off the deep end and am losing it? I know her, she wouldn’t.

Maybe – just maybe, it has nothing to do with her. Maybe I feel like I am not writing anything interesting? Nothing worth reading. But do I think she would think that? I know her, she wouldn’t.

She wouldn’t, because this is part of my story and she knows me.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Through Someone Else's Eyes

It is a snow day. No school. A four day weekend for the kids.


For them...

For me? Not so much!

Although I am secretly happy to have them home for another day, I am not as excited about another storm. Storms mean concern for what there is to eat in the house; concern that we might lose electricity for several days, which has happened for the past 2 years; storms mean unsafe traveling and my husband who travels 35 miles each way to work.

But in their eyes, it is a day of play; a day of fun; a day to be home with Mom.


But something happened this morning. I made a conscience decision to look through their eyes for the day.

To Stop. Remember what it was like on a snow day. Remember how simple life was as a child and how simple it is supposed to be. Remember what adults sometimes forget.


Ironically, the prompt for Picture Winter today was "Center of Attention." Funny how irony happens!

Although every day they are the center of my attention because of schedules, meals, homework, etc., today I made them the center of my attention by giving them unlimited attention. We played outside. We built a house with Lego's. We watched a movie with the curtains drawn and the lights out (it was dark at 3:30).
I tried to look through their eyes.

Whether it is just to see a different perspective or it is to solve a problem, do you try to make a conscience decision to try and look through someone else's eyes?

Friday, January 14, 2011


Have you ever read the book Magic 1, 2, 3? Do you remember the part that talks about Sloppy PVF (Positive Verbal Feedback). Fluff. Appreciation. Noticing.

That is what we all want, right? Not just children - all of us.

We want others to notice when we are doing something good. We want others to appreciate what we do for them. We want others to NOTICE.

My almost 9 year old daughter has pointed out my lack of doing this on many occasions. Although I don't intend to do it, I point out what is wrong, what isn't positive, what isn't "perfect." She will often say to me, "Mom, it doesn't have to be perrffeecct." Although I like order and like things to get done "correctly", I really don't consider myself a perfectionist. My family, friends, and co-workers might disagree with that, but really I don't. I think the problem is my noticing. I notice what is wrong; not what is right. I am in need of an adjustment; a correction. I need to notice what is right. What do you notice?

Today's prompt was Beyond the Chill; looking for the magic beyond the icicles and snow. It was 18 degrees out and we are under a blanket of fresh snow, so I was not optimistic. There was no way I was going to find anything. But I did.

I noticed.

I found something I have never noticed before and it wasn't hard. I just looked and noticed. It was right in front of me; a tiny bouquet of golden flowers on a tree that was otherwise barren. What else am I missing by not noticing?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Heart Warming

When something is heart warming, do you stop and completely revile in the moment? Do you notice and get the warm fuzzy for a minute and then move on or do you experience the moment? I generally feel the warm fuzzy and then move on, because who has time to stop? There are things that need to be done. Well, I am trying to stop being on the move. I am trying to be in the moment. I am trying to experience the warm fuzzy.

Today's prompt for Picture Winter is Warm Your Heart. I had my two youngest children and we were walking in a parking lot. I thought the large piece of "stuff" on the ground was hail. Low and behold, it was rock salt (I was tired and rushing, remember). Anyway, in an effort to examine "the hail" we found a heart shaped piece of rock salt. Of course the first thing I did was grab my phone to snap some pictures. So, I was partly experiencing the moment, but I wasn't paying attention. I was snapping the picture in my son's hand and my daughter wanted me to take a picture of it in her hand. We were getting in the car and I heard a little sigh. I looked and realized what I had done. I ruined the moment for her, by not being in the moment. I was focused on getting the picture taken and moving on to our next errand. I wasn't in the moment. Had I been, I would have noticed and given her the warm fuzzy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where did the Weekend Go?

I am always surprised when the weekend is over and I think, "What did I do?" Yesterday we started at 8:00 for my little guys first basketball game. From there we were on the run and didn't get home until 4:30. Where did the day go? Christmas Tree Shop, Jordan's Furniture, and Trader Joe's (YUM YUM YUM Happiness).

Friday's prompt was Quiet Winter. I was sitting on the couch first thing in the morning making my "To Do" list. My little guy added one to my list: 1. Kiss your son. How cute is that?
So my quiet winter is the view from my window while sitting with him. I have always loved our long driveway, but even more I love the acres of woods.
I remember when I was a little girl and we would vacation in New Hampshire. I loved the smell of the woods. I loved looking out the back deck of where we stayed and seeing all the trees. Well, now I have that view everyday, but I don't always take time to appreciate it or remember how much I actually do still love it. I am always too consumed with our house not being big enough to accommodate 5 people; our grass not always being perfectly green; or that our backyard needs help! But I am trying; trying to appreciate the things that are sitting quietly right in front of me.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cracking Through

This is day 6 of Picture Winter and although I have put thought into my photos, they really have just happened. I didn't take pictures of different things and then chose. I didn't change my mind or think I should have shot something else. I was drawn to what I was taking a photo of without setting the stage.
I have always loved the way the sun comes through the clouds or through the trees. I was getting ready to take my puppy for a walk and trying to entice my 6 year old to go with me when I looked out and saw the sun setting, yet still shining through the trees.
It was such a beautiful scene; a scene that happens probably every day. Still, I don't take the time to enjoy it; to stop for one minute and look at the beauty.
I love how this class is forcing me to do what I have been saying I needed right along. I need to appreciate. I need to notice. I need to force myself to be in the moment instead of planning the next moment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Appreciating a Dishwasher?

Have you ever heard about the studies that have been done in underprivileged countries? Most of these people have an incredible outlook, even with their terrible situations. Aside from hope, these people have a great appreciation for what they have. They are simply grateful.

Today's prompt for Picture Winter was "Intended for Everyday Use." Although I originally thought of taking a picture of my phone and/or laptop, I ended up taking some shots of my dishwasher. It symbolizes so much more than the beauty of not actually having to wash the dishes. It symbolizes having food on our table. It symbolizes saving time that can be spent doing other things. It symbolizes everyday life. And although I have never thought about it until today, I am grateful that I have a dishwasher.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Little Bit of Sunshine

Today was like all the other days. I thought about what my picture was going to be of. I saw a school bus and thought of the sun, because of the shiny yellow. I thought of taking a photo of all my daughters green clothes, which wouldn't seem that impressive - but trust me there are a lot of them! But the day passed and I didn't get a chance to snap my daily picture.

I returned home, hung up my coat, and saw the bouquet of sunflowers. The bouquet had been placed on top of a hutch to get them out of the way. I intended to put them away until next summer, but had not gotten to it. Still, today instead of being an eye sore they were the subject of my daily photo. Instead of seeing something unsighltly, today I saw beauty and the rememberance that summer will be here before we know it!

I am always trying to see things differently and although seemingly insignificant, seeing the beauty in the stashed sunflowers was a step in the right direction.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Possibilities

So, today's prompt was about possibilities. I read the email this morning and was inspired. I was inspired to do what I have set out to do and look for the things that make my heart pitter patter; the things that bring me joy. But, I didn't find it. I got caught up in the day: getting back on a routine after vacation, getting to work, physical therapy, etc. By the time I reread the email it was after dinner and I wanted my day to be done. Done as in sit down, relax, and turn my brain off.
In hind sight there were several moments today that could have fallen into the endless possibility theme. My 6 year old chased his sister trying to get a kiss. My daughter dried her little brother's hair. I had a great massage, although painful at the time, at physical therapy.

Still the thing that ended up making me think about the possibilities was a cleaning spray. Yes, a cleaning spray. It was my last resort for possibility! Still, it isn't just any old cleaning spray. It is Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day counter spray. The scent is magnificent! I chose the lemon, but the basil and lavender must be just as delightful! You experience aromatherapy while cleaning. You accomplish two things at once - relaxing and tidying up! And if you know me, I like tidy; therefore, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day counter spray gives me endless possibilities to have a clean home!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Year

This year I am not making resolutions. I am not giving anything up. I am not going to lost 10 lbs. This year every day will be a new day. This year I will set daily attainable goals. This year will be different.

I am going to look for joy, look for laughter, and look for peace. I am also going to take care of myself, so that I am a better mother, better wife, better person.
One way I am going to do that is to do the things that I love.
One thing I love to do is take pictures. I got a beautiful Nikon D60 for Christmas the year before last and have snapped a lot of great shots. I took a Nikon class offered by Nikon last year and learned some of the ins and outs. Still, I don't always remember to grab my camera. By signing up for Picture Winter I will be using my camera every day this month; therefore doing something I love every day.

Today I took some shots of my daugher and her friends on a tree swing. They were such hams! It was wonderful. I got some great shots and posted these two for the class.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Picture Winter

I have been meaning to sign up for a class at Big Picture Classes for sometime, but had not done it until yesterday. I decided to sign up for Picture Winter - 30 days of Brilliant Beginnings. Check it out at or click on the link to the side. Each day I will be receiving a message in my inbox with inspiration to get my creativity going.

Today was A Day to Relax and although I wish I could say that I was just going to relax, I know myself and that doesn't happen often. Anyway, we got a new TV for Christmas and today was the day to take down the tree, put away all the remnants of Christmas, and start the New Year by putting up the new TV. It is an LG TV - Life's Good. And yes, life is good.