My happy place

For the last couple weeks since being tagged by Rachael at Three Boys and a Mom, I’ve been pondering on what my happy place is. Is my happy place simply being with those I love? Do I have a place, an actual spot on the map, that brings me happiness, or where I go for refuge and peace? Or is my happy place a time of day when I can simply think and ponder, away from the high-pitched voice of my son yelling “Mommm!!!” ?

Here is my happy place in no particular order and just as they came to me.

My happy place is snuggling with my son anywhere and anytime he’ll let me. Couldn’t we just snuggle and read books all day??

my happy placeMy happy place is taking a shower by myself when Parker is asleep. The peace and warmth of a shower longer than 1 minute and without Parker calling my name or anything else crazy, is just utter peace.

My happy place is when I’m driving a car. This does not happen often! I love listening to the radio, singing along, and the sheer feeling of going some place. A change of scenery is happiness to my soul.

My happy place is listening to this Kenny G. Christmas album during nap time and just relaxing. Ahh…

Kenny G ChristmasMy happy place is working out with friends in the morning and coming home feeling like I can conquer the world. T25 anyone??

Focus-T25-logoMy happy place is making a nutritious and delicious dinner for my family and watching them eat it up. Sometimes I just stop eating and watch them enjoy. That scene in my mind warms my wife and mommy heart like none other.

My happy place is reading the scriptures or listening to a conference talk while folding a load of laundry and feeling the peace of God’s word settle on my heart and mind. Sometimes letting God speak to me is just the happiest, most peaceful place to be.

My happy place is watching a movie with my husband, Sam, after Parker’s in bed. We collapse on the couch and debate which movie on Amazon is worth the time, and then cuddle up and share laughs. Then, of course, we have to debate the movie after it’s done. It’s all great fun.

My happy place is when Sam walks through the door at the end of the day. The next couple minutes are full of excitement–seeing him smile, watching him run up to Parker to give him a hug, seeing Parker’s face light up, us all getting hugs and kisses, then spouting off how our day went.

After writing this, I realized my happy places are scattered throughout my life like knick knacks; special, everyday moments I collect in my memory and then carry through life. Most of these moments I also have no picture of. They are moments I simply enjoy. So, sorry for the lack of visuals, but some things you just can’t catch on camera.

Now, I would like to tag Kim at Invited by Grace, Chelsi at Catching Crawfish, and Natalie at Brenner Bunch to write about their happy place and what brings them joy in life. And if you have not already, go check out Rachael at Three Boys and a Mom, and see what brings her joy!

There is so much to be thankful for in life. I’m so curious, what brings you happiness?

Limits brings happiness

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your real and genuine responses to my recent post What you do speaks so loud. It was reassuring to know I am not the only one who struggles with balancing social media, blogging, or hobbies with my absolute love for my boy. And honestly, your comments and ideas have been so instrumental in helping me–THANK YOU for sharing your thoughts with me.

Your feedback

As per a suggestion, I decided to do a follow-up post, with feedback from other readers, YOU, on how to balance our passion for writing and media, with our passion for our youngsters.

The number one thing happens to be balance, moderation, and strategy. Many referenced setting aside a specific time each day to blog or interact through social media. Others explained they set a certain time and amount of time for them to blog. There were also certain times they simply put their phone away–silenced, no notifications, out of sight.  I loved what Abbie from Abbie’s Babble said in her comment:

“I am being very intentional at the moment about setting myself timed sessions online (my kids are only allowed max 45min screen sessions after all).”

That thought had honestly never occurred to me. Having been out of my parents home for quite a few years without rules and then not having kids using media, I forgot entirely that I should make limits for myself. Media isn’t bad, but too much can be. We want our life to be balanced and full of other wonderful, fulfilling things. Yes?

Another idea came from Chelsi at Catching Crawfish. She explained that she is working on only using media when her kids are napping or in bed. But, we all know we have ideas for our blog all throughout the day. Her solution was wonderful:

“I would write posts on paper first as they came to my mind, then type later.”

I loved this suggestion. I want my son to see me using a good ‘ole pen and paper. The more time he see’s me “off screen” is valuable to me. Also, the added benefit to this idea, is that we don’t even have to touch our phones to jot down an idea. If you are anything like me, if I pick up my phone to quickly jot down an idea, I get distracted and soon I’m somehow reading about my friends new pregnancy or looking at a cute picture of so and so’s child. This idea makes it easier to put the phone and computer really away.

But let’s be honest, we WILL slip up. We will have days when we spend far too much time online. What Hannah at Pocketful of Motherhood said helped me realize it is okay to make the mistake, as long as we keep trying.

“Finding the balance has been tricky. So, I guess I’m learning and trying to show myself some grace along the way.”

We should all try to show ourselves kindness, even amidst the days when we feel horrible and guilty that we didn’t give our child enough attention. After all, we really are works in progress.

But if I could send you away with one thought, it would be this from The Happiness Trick:

“My writing is so much better when I spend uninterrupted time with my kids! I find that being unplugged when spending time with my kids fuels my inspiration – and it also removes the guilt of ‘disconnecting’ from them when I do decide to sit down and write. Of course, easier said than done and it took me a long time to find the right balance. I try to remember that giving my kids my undivided attention is just as important to their happiness and well-being as having time to myself to enjoy a little alone time …. when Mom is happy, everyone is happy 🙂

Sometimes I feel my son is getting in the way of my writing. But, really since I do blog about my son, what better than to spend time with him while unplugged? I’ve come to realize that giving myself limits will actually increase my happiness. I’ll be able to get rid of that gnawing guilt, when I see my son vying for my attention.

Sometimes limits really do bring happiness.

“When we have clear boundaries, we permit ourselves respect.” –Anonymous

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Shameless (actually slightly embarrassed) plug

This last week I decided to take a leap and join the Top Mommy Blogs Community. I don’t know how I feel about the title. I’m in no way a “Top Mommy Blog” but I love that I am a mom and I do have a blog, so I guess I’m “approved.” 🙂  I had seen some of my blogging friends (MomLife Now, Three Boys and a Mom, Stories of Our Boys, and Collecting Moments) were part of the community and realized I would love to join.

TMB-approved-200Top Mommy Blogs is a great resource for finding blogs that are personable, made up of mostly original posts, and share their own voice from their heart. There are little advertisements or giveaways. Meaning, if you want to find an original, personable blog in just about any category–go there!

Here comes the part I feel a little, okay a lot, silly about though. If you would, I would love it if you would vote for me on Top Mommy Blogger. All you have to do is click the cute badge on the sidebar, or the banner down at the bottom of my blog. That is it. It will take you to the Top Mommy homepage, but you don’t have to do anything else.

You can vote once per day. So anytime you stop by and if you feel like you enjoyed a post, I would love it if you would click the button and show me some Top Mommy Blogs love! 🙂 By voting for me, my blog will be easier for other people to find.

Thank you so much for sharing your light with me, my friends. Your own blogs, posts you write, and most of all friendships, bring so much beauty, not to mention pure genius into my life.

You can even click right here to vote!

You can even click right here to vote!