Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 577: Sibling Revelry

We made another zoo trip today.  This time after school, so Sweet P could join in.

It was oppressively hot and humid.  Again.

But my babies still managed to provide us all with Joyful Moments.  Surprise.  Here, they are pretending to be little eaglets in an over-sized eagle's nest.

And here, they're just being cute on the train.  I am so blessed at how well these two get along and love each other.

Most of the time.

Baby B was along and had a great time, as well.  But it was really hard to get a picture of him enjoying all of the zoo sites since that would require me getting between him and whatever he was looking at.  It was really cute to see how excited he was to see all of the many forms of "puppies!"

Have I mentioned how much I love my children?

As they would put it, I love them infinity.  Infinity is one of the current favorite things around here.

Wishing you all Joyful Moment that you love infinity--not infinitely, but infinity!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 576: We've Been Meaning To...

Have about a billion different people over, that is.

We just had a couple over tonight that fits in that category.  And they were fabulous people!  I'm so grateful to get to know them better.  The conversation flowed very easily and there was a lot of laughter.

And everyone really liked the dinner--both what I made and what our guests brought to share.

Joyful Moments were had in abundance.

Except when Baby B was screaming for more of their scrumptious fruit salad.

But, there are worse things than a toddler screaming for more fruit.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that provide you with all the scrumptious fruit salad your heart desires!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 575: New Schools Will Come

That was part of Little M's response to me when I sort of freaked out about him going to Kindergarten next year.

And he spoke it like a wise, old sage.

My babies is growing up.


And this one started his last year of preschool today.

This little goofball is the source of so many Joyful Moments.  And seeing how excited he was for his first day was a Joyful Moment.

Hearing all about his first day when I picked him, was a less than satisfactory Joyful Moment.  But funny, nonetheless.

A few highlights:

"I can't remember."

"Everybody had a good day.  Except one boy who kept getting into trouble."

Little M:  I made a new friend.

Me:  Boy, or girl?

LM:  Girl.

Me:  What's her name?

LM:  I don't know.

Me:  What does she look like?

LM:  I forgot.

Yes, he will be missed for the 7 1/2 hours a week we're apart.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are 100% satisfactory!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Day 574: Excessive Excitement

Tonight we took Z to the dog run.  We haven't taken her in several weeks because it's been oppressively hot and humid.

But today was actually pretty nice (Sorry, to those on the East Coast!  Our prayers are with you!) here.

For the last several months, I've taken her by myself because the kids don't really like it and they always end up getting muddy anyway.  But, tonight we all went.

From the moment we got there Baby B was beside himself with glee.

He gets unbelievably excited every time he sees a "Puppy!"  You'd think he didn't live with one.  But he was seriously wiggling uncontrollably in my arms and squealing with pure delight.

It made me laugh the whole time we were there.

I love watching my kiddos in their joy.  It's a Joyful Moment for me every time.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make you wiggle and squeal!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 573: Not The Joyful Moment I Was Hoping For

Today was another really great day, full of Joyful Moments.

We had a little potluck barbecue after HH's morning softball tournament.  Unfortunately, the kids and I couldn't come until after tae kwon do, which happened to be right after HH was done playing for the day.  So, we missed seeing him play, but we did get to visit with several friends.

I had the opportunity to talk to a few people whom I really love while doing the driving around town, in between errands.  That's always a Joyful Moment.

I finished ready a really great book, written by someone awesome.  Double Joyful Moment.

Did some more canning--Joyful Moment because it was way easier than the last time and less stressful!

And then we went out for a family bike ride.  I fully expected this to be a Joyful Moment.

It wasn't.  Not really.

But sometimes, that's how things go on busy Saturdays.  Or, really, any given day when you're dealing with young children.

And that's okay.  Because a drink of water was all it took to dry these tears and turn that sad face upside down.

But then Sweet P had her moment, too.

And so, we quit the ride and headed home.

So, that was one Joyful Moment that didn't really ever happen.  And the only one I had my camera out for.  Sorry for the teary picture.

Good thing the rest of the day was so great, though!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments to cover up for those Joyful Moments that don't actually happen!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 572: Oh, Pioneer

Today was a really great day.  But I just have to share this one Joyful Moment with you.

First, let me explain.

My sister-in-law and I have this on-going joke.  It always begins with, "You would have been one of those pioneers who..." and then can end with pretty much anything.

Yeah, it's probably only funny to a handful of people on this planet.

But, it's really funny to us.

Anyway, this same sister-in-law makes cards.  The cutest, sweetest, most creativest cards you ever done seen.

Today I received this in the mail:

I cannot tell you how happy it made me.  Seriously.  Have you ever seen a cuter card?

Wait, it gets better.

This was the inside (with the funny/sweet personal note edited out, of course).  A little pioneer lady holding a cupcake.

I almost died from the cuteness.  Seriously.

Immediately upon recovering, I set about trying to work my new camera to get this card in the best possible lighting, so you all could appreciate it in its fullest.

Well, not quite.  Because you really have to get the Pioneer jokes to FULLY appreciate, but you can still see how amazing it is.

And you are probably beginning to grasp how happy this made me and what a Joyful Moment it was to receive such a perfectly perfect card.

Ah, Mel, you would have been one of those pioneers who made the cutest handmade cards from tree bark and peat moss and you wouldn't have missed a single birthday in the whole wagon train (there ain't nothin' wrong with bein' late--it just prolongs the celebration!).

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are cute enough to almost kill you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 571: Bursting



Sorry for sort of shouting that at you.

Be grateful that you aren't usually around right when I experience some of my more exciting Joyful Moments.  Generally, I have a little more time to process them so I can share them with you in a calm and dignified manner.

Because I know "dignified" is one of the first words you use when asked to describe me.

And I know you're asked to describe me all the time.

Anyway, I just opened the email informing me of that sweeeeeet Joyful Moment, so I had to share it with you in all of its brand new excitement.

Back to our ordered and orderly posting now.

This morning I had the privilege of honoring the memory of a friend's son who died in a car accident two years ago today.  Another friend organized a service project and so, a large group of us were able to beautify one of the city's most beautiful spots.  It was heartbreaking to recall the tragedy itself, but still a Joyful Moment to be able to do something good in his memory.

I brought along the daughter of my friend who is moving since she won't start school until they reach their new location.  After the service project, I took the kids to the zoo because we were in the neighborhood.  Again, it was a little bit sad because she's one of Sweet P's best friends and of course, Sweet P was in school and therefore had to miss out, but the friend, Little M, and Baby B had a great time.  We even got to ride the train with some other friends.

And that friend was helping me learn a bit more about my camera and helped me achieve this shot.  Kinda cool.

Joyful Moment to see that I took the shot just the way I intended it and Joyful Moment for Little M who was delighted to have caught this pretty flutterby.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that must be shared in all caps!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 570: Starts and Ends

Tonight was busy.

First, we had Little M's preschool open house.  That's sort of old news now because this is his second year in the program and Sweet P did it the year before, but he was so excited, we couldn't skip it.

Plus, it gave me the chance to get a picture of him with his sweet teachers from last year.  You may recall, I was attacked by The Plague just before the end of his school year and forgot to take a picture of him with them on his last day.  It's a good thing I already know and love his new teachers for this year, or I'd have a really hard time accepting that he won't be with these two again.  They are wonderful!

So, the even was a Joyful Moment with the anticipation of many more Joyful Moments with his progress and fun at school to come.

The rest of the evening's busyness was a bittersweet Joyful Moment.

I had a houseful of wonderful friends.  That would be a stellar Joyful Moment, except that the reason everyone came was because we hosted a going away party for some of our good friends who are moving in a few days.

It was a fabulous evening of fun and laughter, but I could have done without the tears at the end.  Of course, I'll see her again a couple times before they go, and I am always in denial about good byes, so I don't know what that silliness was about.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are more like exciting beginnings and less like tearful farewells!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 569: Mom, I Know You Love Me

My mom has spoken with me several times since my birthday, sent me two e-cards, and one snail mail card with a gift.  And so, when she called this morning, I was surprised to hear her say that she was just calling because she felt like she hadn't adequately honored my birthday.

Sadly, we were headed into Little M's violin lesson at that moment (in which he did great--Joyful Moments for us both!), so I couldn't let her fulfill her wishes at that moment.

But, I am a good daughter, so I returned her call this afternoon.  And catching up with her and chatting for a while was my Joyful Moment.

I have an awesome mom.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with someone who can't express their love for you enough!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 568: Involuntary Happy Dance

My birthday present arrived today.

I should have taken a picture of it to show you.

Instead, I took this picture.

And this one.

Notice how beautiful they are?  That's because I took them with MY NEW BIRTHDAY PRESENT!!!! A fabulously lovely brand new digital SLR!!!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE love it.

It wasn't supposed to get here until tomorrow (it's not HH's fault that it's late--it took me until Thursday night to decide which camera I wanted), but I've been checking the tracking status like a batch of baking cookies and when I saw the message that it was here in my town and was out for delivery, I literally ran up the stairs and found myself doing a happy dance in my kitchen that was so bizarre even I was embarrassed by it.

But I couldn't help myself.  I was so stinkin' excited!

But, honestly, look at those baby blues.  You're probably doing a happy dance now, too.  Because you'll be seeing a lot more of those!

I love my children's eyes.

Yowza.  I am loving my new camera.

Now, I just need to find an excuse to hole up from the rest of the world for a month while I study the book and learn how to use it to its fullest potential.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make you do an involuntary happy dance, regardless of how ridiculous you look!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 567: What I Wish I Could Bottle

*Canning Update*  Three of the four cans sealed.  Super exciting.

Have I ever told you about Little M's laugh?  It is seriously the best laugh around.  Not necessarily the best sounding laugh, like all of those crazy youtube videos.  It's just the best all around laugh.  Because it's so genuine and... I think I just sat here for a full minute trying to figure out how to best describe it.

But when the boy really laughs, I mean really, it is just such a joyous, all-encompassing laugh.  Everyone within earshot stops and looks at this little boy who is so clearly enjoying life at 110% because of how completely happy the laugh sounds.

Tonight he did one of those laughs.  Because he rode his bike into these massive dirt ruts made by some construction trucks running through mud--and he got stuck.  And apparently, this pleased him perfectly and made him laugh with such a contented heart.  HH and I stopped mid-sentence in our conversation and just shared in his laughter and joy.

You really had to be there, I suppose, to fully appreciate this.  Just know that there are few things that bring such an instant Joyful Moment as when he laughs that laugh.  I love it.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that make you laugh with a perfectly contented heart!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Day 566: Tanning and Canning

Okay, so those of you who know me know that I couldn't really tan.  I burned.  And that wasn't a Joyful Moment.

But the golf that I played with HH and his brother while getting burned was a Joyful Moment.

As was watching him play with my kiddos all day.  They absolutely adore their uncle.

And then, tonight, I canned.  Four quarts of tomatoes (and I froze a pint size jar, as well).  Not a lot, I know.  But it was the first time canning (with my brand new beautiful pressure canner/cooker!) ever.  So far, it looks like maybe only two sealed.  Not entirely sure what I did wrong with the other two, assuming they don't ever seal.  But at least two worked.  In fact, pressing down the top of the first jar and feeling absolutely no pop whatsoever was another very satisfying Joyful Moment!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments free of sun damage!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Day 565: Old Familiarity

This morning I went for a six-mile run.  It's been almost a year since I did more than five.  And I kept up a pretty decent pace again.  Ah... Joyful Moment to be sure.

Then this evening I joined several of my friends in doing a "talent show" of sorts.  It was organized by a friend who is a great pianist and was looking for a purpose in her practicing.  She asked a few other friends to choreograph some dance pieces and asked me to sing.

Why she asked me to sing is a long story for a different day.

The thing is I don't have a great voice so, I chose "Popular" from "Wicked".  That way I could ham it up with acting skills which I do possess and hopefully, distract from my lack of vocal talent.

It's been a while since I've done any acting and I only got to practice singing with my friend accompanying once and that was almost two weeks ago.  So, the performance itself was not the Joyful Moment I was expecting, sadly.  There were some mistakes and whathaveyous and I just wasn't overly pleased with the final product.

BUT... it did bring back that familiar rush that I get from acting and theatre.  And that was a Joyful Moment.  I've got to figure out a way to get back into it.

And then I came home and my brother-in-law arrived, as we are a pitstop on his way back to college.  I like him a lot, so that was a Joyful Moment.  Plus, we played a game and he is THE MOST competitive person I know AND I WON THE GAME!!!  It's probably bratty for me to admit, but beating him was another Joyful Moment.

Well, it was.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are kind of all over the place!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Day 564: Shampooed

We bought a steamvac, around Christmas time, I think.

We're weird like that.

But I broke it out last night.  And finished up with all the carpets this morning.

This might sound a little weird (a first for me, I know), but pouring out all of the nasty, dirty, disgusting water at the end was sort of a Joyful Moment.  Just because it means that my carpets are that much cleaner. And cleanliness makes me happy.

Imagine my delight when I found Baby B happily dumping dirt from our largest potted plant onto the carpet only a few minutes after I finished up.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are not instantly undone!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 563: Home Grown

Tonight I made a pasta sauce from tomatoes and carrots grown in my very own garden.  And then I made noodles with chopped basil from my herb pot.

Making it was a huge, self-satisfying Joyful Moment.  I just felt so healthy!

Unfortunately, my overzealous adoration of garlic interfered with my cooking again, as the sauce was a bit over-garlicky even for my taste.  So, eating it was not as much of a Joyful Moment as I was expecting.  But still--everyone ate it just fine and at least we were all super healthy for it.


And then I came home from a Joyful Moment eating ice cream with my girlfriends to find HH just finishing up the installation of the beautiful ceiling fan in our bedroom.  And that was another Joyful Moment!  I'm so proud of my handy HH.  The fan looks really pretty there.  The lighting is much better. And, best of all, I slept SO comfortably last night!  I'm a really hot sleeper, but I can't turn the A/C down as low as I need it because then everyone else in the house freezes all night.  So, the ceiling fan is perfect!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments experienced at just the right temperature!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 562: Another Year

Sweet P started First Grade today.

I know some moms cry when their kids go to school.

I don't.

At least, not with Sweet P.  It's hard to feel sad when she's so excited and just plain happy.

It's also hard to get a normal smile.

But things went really well this morning.  The boys actually slept in, which kind of made things more stressful for the few minutes just as it was time to head out the door, but before that it was really nice to just kind of have the morning to ourselves, just the two of us.  To talk about all the first day excitement and whatnot.

I love my little girl.  And I love how much she loves school.

So, dropping her off was my Joyful Moment today.  And, of course, picking her up and hearing how great her first day was.

Not that she can remember any of it.

All I know is that she had two recesses.

Apparently, that's a pretty big deal.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments complete with two recesses!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 561: Building A Happy Home

That was tonight's theme for our Family Home Evening lesson.

I'll be honest, we don't often put as much thought, or preparation into these lessons as we ought to.  But I'm trying to be better.

Last week I came across this article by President Thomas S. Monson.  Even if you don't share my faith (I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, if you're new here), you should read this article.  It's full of wonderful reminders of how we should treat those who matter most in our lives.  Mainly, just a reminder to tell them we love them more often.

Anyway, as I was reading it, I felt very strongly that it should be the topic for our lesson.  So, HH and I read it to the kids and had them listen for ideas on ways we can all help build a happy home and then they each drew a picture of a home with corresponding parts (as suggested at the end of the talk).  It went over really well.  I'm hoping it will help with some current issues we've been having.

But having a successful Family Home Evening where we actually made it all the way through the end and seemed a bit better off for it was today's Joyful Moment.

Four of the five people who help make our home a happy one (and my yummy birthday cake)!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that leave you a bit better off at the end!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 560: (Not Quite) The Best Birthday Ever!

While I was out last night, HH and the kids did a little errand run to pick up a few surprises for me for today.  I knew that one of these was a special breakfast.

So, you can imagine everyone's disappointment when the first sentence out of my mouth this morning was, "Don't make me breakfast.  I'll throw up."

Yeah.  I appear to have picked up some sort of stomach bug.


But folks around here have still made it a pretty good day.  The kids came in to tell me I needed to get better so I could have my (surprise) ice cream cake (or pie, in Little M's version).  Sweet P spent every spare moment today making me sweet cards and wrapping them so cleverly.

This was my favorite.  That's me on the right, in case you can't tell.  And she's watering my herb pot.

And this is the inside.  Those are the kids playing on the deck out back.  Baby B is crawling across the top of the railing, apparently.  And please note where she wrote, "Hope you feel better in time to have cake."  So, thoughtful.

HH was really good about making sure I've had as relaxing and restful a day as possible.  And has been very sympathetic to my feeling rotten.

I did taste the cake.  It was yummy, but after a few bites my tummy started to rebel, so I had to stop.

And then there have been lots of birthday wishes via phone calls and facebook.  So, I've felt very loved and special.

Overall, it was a day full of Joyful Moments.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are the best ever!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 559: Green Cake

This morning, HH and rode our bikes to the Farmer's Market.  That's a 20 minuted drive from my house.  We were a little closer since we left from the gym, but it was still a 14 1/2 mile ride round trip.  And we brought along the bike trailer, so we could bring home our CSA veggies in the cooler. I pulled the majority of the time because poor HH had just returned home from two hours of intense basketball and was already pretty tired.  It ended up being more of a workout than I bargained for.  But it's so good to have fresh, healthy veggies in our fridge again.  And it seemed so perfect and healthy to ride our bikes there instead of drive.  So, the experience was a very satisfying Joyful Moment.

I went out with my girlfriends tonight to celebrate my birthday and the birthday of another friend.  We went to a little French restaurant I'd never heard of.

It. Was.  Amazing.

Just looking at the menu was a Joyful Moment.  Albeit, a stressful Joyful Moment because it was impossible to decide what to order.  But finally I did and it did not disappoint!

Plus, there was ample girl talk going on.  I just love my girlfriends.  Seriously, they are the best.  They showered me with beautiful, thoughtful gifts--many of which were handmade.   They're amazing.  Huge Joyful Moments all around.

And then, the waitress brought out the dessert tray.  And we had a long moment of silence as we stared at it in loving adoration.  Well, maybe with a touch of lust in there, too.

This is the one I finally chose.  But we all shared and this ended up not being my favorite.  Which is alright.  It was still a yummy dessert.

And then we finished off the night with even more chatting a more Joyful Moments.

Really Good Day.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments on a Really Good Day!

Friday, August 12, 2011


I hope you read that in a big announcer's booming voice.

If not, go back and do it again.

So, it's my BirthWeekend.  HH said I could choose whatever I wanted to do.

We ate out quite a bit on our recent road trip, so going out for dinner didn't sound as great as it usually does.

Then I discovered that there would be a Monster Truck Show going on tonight.

I've never been to a Monster Truck Show.

Not the best picture, but the only one we got of us and one of the trucks.  That one in the background ended up being my favorite.  The driver was pretty crazy and put on a really good show.

This one was my favorite at the beginning.  Just a sweet looking truck from Australia.

Who would have thought that monster trucks would ever make the Joyful Moment list here?  But they did tonight.

Of course, it helped that I had my HH right there with me.

All in all, it was a lot of fun.  Definitely part of a BirthWeekend to remember.  I felt a little guilty not taking Little M.  He would have loved it.  We'll have to go again with him.

But to an indoor venue, so I don't step in a mud hole walking out at the end.

Because that makes my shoe look like this.  Not a Joyful Moment.

Still totally worth it though!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are totally worth it!

P.S.  Baby B slept a ton today, leaving very little time for disaster-creating; it looks like HH will be able to fix the washer for very little $$; my back is feeling much better; and the kids were not quite so crazy today.  Just in case you were wondering.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Day 557: Another Stinky Day

Yeah.  Today was rough.

By 8:30 AM I was ready to trade all three of my children in.  Preferably for a nice Harley to take me to Sturgis, but I'd have settled for just about anything that didn't whine about the breakfast I'd made (and I actually made what they requested this morning!).

Baby B is a walking tornado, destroying anything and everything in his path.  And veering this way and that to make sure his path is as wide as possible.  So, I spend the majority of his waking hours trying to keep up with him, telling him 'no', cleaning up or fixing whatever he's ruined, and then trying to locate him again to fix the next disaster.

I think I might have pulled a muscle in my low back during yoga this morning.

And then to really round off the day, the washer quit in the middle of a load.  Leaving me with a washer full of soapy water and soapy clothes.  Thank goodness for a nearby friend who let me finish my load in her washer!

Big, deep, purging sighs, Everyone.

Just another day in Paradise.

Today's Joyful Moment was pretty worthwhile, thank goodness.  We met Sweet P's new teacher at the school open house tonight.  She seems just as kind and caring as last year's teacher.  Yay!  And since that is a Joyful Moment that will affect us clear through next May, it still trumps all of today's woes.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that trump your daily woes!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 556: First Songs

Baby B has started singing.  Cute little baby songs.  I love them.  They've brought me little Joyful Moments for the past few days.

And this morning I ran 4 miles in just under 34 minutes.  That's the best I've done since I switched to my Vibrams last fall.  Still not as far or as fast as I was going, but huge progress.  It was a glorious Joyful Moment.

Visiting with friends while the kids swam in a friend's pool, yet another Joyful Moment.

And then we went to the fair tonight.  Which is fairly disappointing because we had such amazing fairs back in New England.  But mostly, it was still a good time.

The best part was how beside himself with delight and excitement Baby B was upon seeing the animals in the petting zoo.  He could not stop squealing.

Until this happened.  Then he was ready to be done with the camel and move on to the pygmy goats.  But watching his joy over all of these animals was my Joyful Moment tonight.  So cute.

Wishing you all a day full of a wide variety of Joyful Moment sources!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 555: I'll Give You A Nickle For Your Pickle

Earlier today, I came across a post on a friend's blog about homemade pickles.

Incidentally, when we got home on Sunday I went out to gather the harvest from our garden after being gone for nearly two weeks.  Among other things, I found several very large cucumbers.

I think there was a time that I used to love cucumbers.

Yesterday, as I was eating cucumber simply because we have so much of it, I realized that I haven't actually enjoyed eating a cucumber in quite some time.

Unless it's in my delicious steak salad recipe.  But that's for another post another day.

Anyway, so when I read about my friend making homemade pickles, I instantly thought of my vegetable drawer full of cucumbers (and the 5,000 baby cukes I saw growing on the vine as I weeded today).  And because I'm a genius, I put two and two together and realized I could do the same!

Boom!  A jar of pickles and then some cucumber chocolate chip cookies.

That last bit is a joke.

So, making the pickles was a super easy Joyful Moment (I tried one just a few hours after sticking them in the brine, expecting very little flavor--Holy Cow!  It was a amazing!)

But then I made the cookies to take over to our (Drum Roll, please....) NEW NEIGHBORS!!!!  They moved in just as we were leaving town, so I didn't get to meet them until tonight.  They have three small children, very close in age to my own little darlings.  Oh, yay.  Joyful Moment!!!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments with pickles and cookies!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 554: Neat Freak

I woke up at 6:30 this morning.  Not to workout.

To clean out the van.

It took over an hour.  But that included wiping down all interior surfaces and then treating the leather with conditioner, vacuuming, and shampooing the carpets.

It looks fantastic.  Inside.  The outside still needs quite a bit of work.  But making the inside all sparkly (as sparkly as carpet and leather can get, anyway) was today's Joyful Moment.  It just made me really happy to make such a big difference.

And then I went about returning to my normal daily routine (if washing more loads of laundry than I can count counts as a normal daily routine).  In the process I ran into many friends everywhere we went and it was great to catch up and reconnect with so many people.  Another Joyful Moment.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments in making a big difference in a little over an hour!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 553: No Brainer


Joyful Moment.

The End.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are no brainers!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day 552: Rare Sights

There's a small town in South Dakota named Sturgis.  I'm not sure if anything else happens there, but every year in early August they have a big motorcycle rally.  So, everywhere we went there were hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles and their riders.

It was seriously, really cool.

So, I had to do this:

My heart was pounding and I was all shaky from nerves after asking him for a photo, but I couldn't miss the opportunity!  And getting this was actually a Joyful Moment.

Then we went to Wall Drug.  Hard to explain if you've never been there.  I think I would have enjoyed this much more had we not been 11 days out on our trip and the kids not so crazy and whiny.

But then we entered the Badlands.  Just an awe inspiring experience.  It's so beautiful and amazingly untouched.  HH continued our streak of personal encounters with the wildlife by nearly stepping on a rattlesnake.  He didn't let anyone do too much exploring outside of the car after that.

This is just one of the many many photos we took of the amazing views.  So much better in person though!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that you get to experience in person!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 551: Mountain Russia

That's what Sweet P keeps calling Mount Rushmore.

Very funny.

But experiencing this land mark with the family was today's Joyful Moment.

As were driving the scenic Needles Highway, through Custer State Park and visiting the Wind Cave.  Super amazing Joyful Moments!

And then we had another brush with the wildlife.  This time it was a hungry donkey.  HH slowed down and rolled down the window for a closer look and this guy just came right in!  Crazy!

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that are a little crazy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Day 550: Fun Fear

This morning we went out on the speed boat.  I was in the middle of packing us up for the next leg of our journey, but decided to join in the fun.

I had no intentions of going in the water, but the kids pooped out pretty quickly, so I got on the tube with HH and Sweet P.  And it was terrifying.

The good kind of terrifying.

Then Little M hopped on.  So, we threw Baby B on for good measure.

Okay, not really, Mom.  Calm down.

But the older four of us rode the tube together.  I almost slipped off countless times, but never all the way.  And that's what really matters.

It was a thrilling Joyful Moment to have with the family.

Then we finished packing, hugged everyone in HH's family good bye and headed off to the Black Hills.

We drove out through Yellowstone and the kids got to experience this buffalo up close and personal.  I was driving and I might have screamed a little when he walked past my window.  He looked ready to charge!

Wishing you all thrilling Joyful Moments!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day 549: Jetting

They rented a jet ski today.  It's been about 6 years since I was last on one.  But I vividly recall when HH turned so sharply, I flew off into the water terrified for my life.

For some ridiculous reason, I got on with him again today.  And he *almost* threw me off again.  I made him take me back to the dock.

A couple hours later, I lost my intelligence and went out with him again.

This time I drove.  And I somehow managed to hit a wave just right so a massive wall of water went up and over the jet ski.  And its riders.  I was screaming and driving blindly and choking.  But so was HH.  And it felt like a little bit of retribution.

Is it wrong to say that was my Joyful Moment?  Maybe that makes me a touch sadistic, but it was.

Wishing you all Joyful Moments that leave you choking and screaming, but somewhat triumphant!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 548: Morning Run

I went running with my sister-in-law and her husband this morning.  It was my first run since my visit to the podiatrist a little over two weeks ago.  I've still been having pain, so I was a little nervous, but it barely hurt at all in the beginning and was completely fine by the end.  That was a great Joyful Moment in and of itself.

But I also really enjoyed running with family.  We don't see each other nearly often enough, so it was great to be able to talk and catch up.  Without any little people clammoring for attention at the same time.  And I was flattered that they invited me to join them.

Plus, it's gorgeous up here in the mountains.  I really miss those out in the Great Plains.  So, taking it all in was yet another Joyful Moment.

Who would expect so many Joyful Moments all before 7 AM?

Wishing you all Joyful Moments at unexpected hours!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Yes, today we experienced Yellowstone National Park.  I haven't been here since I was a kid, so of course, the kids have never been.

It was a quick trip, so we just hit the high lights.  Mainly, the geysers and hot pots, Old Faithful, and some magnificent waterfalls.  We actually got to see Old Faithful errupt twice because we ate lunch there and it went shortly after we arrived, and just before we left.  Even Baby B was quite impressed with this.  He kept pointing and saying, "Oh, wow!"  So cute!  And  total Joyful Moment watching the kids take it all in.

It was also fun pointing out elk and bison.  Or, "puppies" as Baby B dubbed them all.

And we got to do all of this with HH's family.  So, there were even more Joyful Moments in watching the kids giggle over stinky geysers together.

A really good day.

With a nightmarish ending.  But that's to be expected on a super long day with this many people, right? (c:

Wishing you all Joyful Moments on really good days--minus the nightmarish ending!