Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Aw, man. I love when I can capture a picture like this. That’s one happy kid. That’s JOY.

joy - 1

Daniel hates to pose for pictures and I’m getting better about just snapping the moment without staging it. Annabel will ham it up, but the best shots are the purest ones. The ones where they aren’t looking. The ones when they’re truly happy.

joy - 1a

joy - 1b

joy - 9

joy - 12

“That’s what I want for you. I want you to be happy.” I tell them that all the time. I took Daniel out of camp this summer because the look on his face after he came home the first day was horrible. “It’s not worth it,” I told him. “Remember, I want you to be happy.” It gets tricky too. I understand that their homework does not make them happy or maybe even a sport doesn’t thrill them right now, but certain things are fine because I know it will lead to two confident, happy people.

The thing is…I’M not always happy. The few people that really, really know me understand how sensitive I am. Most people see me as organized, hard working, and caring. As happy. But the truth is, I over think everything. I hate that I still care too much about what other people think of me. It’s this crutch that I’ve carried since childhood that makes it difficult for me to say “no” or put myself first. I really enjoy being a Mom because I can put my energy into my kids. But I feel defeated knowing that I’m still a work in progress. That I lack self confidence. That I have anxiety. That I still think about this and this. That I’m still looking for my place. For the perfect, comfy seat. For peace. For joy.

The other thing is the constant influx of bad news. Man, it will just ruin my day. I’ve finally stopped reading it. You know how celebrities say they don’t like to read bad reviews or negative comments because it will make their work suffer? Well, I’ve had to stop reading the headlines because it will make my day suffer. I do believe that people are good, but there is so much bad it weighs on my mind. Another mass shooting, another child missing, another bully-inspired suicide. I’m overwhelmed with protecting my family from it all. I’m overwhelmed with what I can do to help or how I can make a difference. What is the point of writing about Prince George’s christening dress or Taylor Swift’s new song? ¬†Shouldn’t I be trying to make the world a better place? What SHOULD I do?

Phew. Breathe, maybe?

Well, what I do is what I know. I go back to writing about Prince George’s christening dress and Taylor Swift’s new song. I volunteer in the school lunchroom and for the PTO board. I start a new business. I conquer my fear of going to the doctor and I exercise more. I learn to say “no.” I read other amazing blogs that give me inspiration. I pray. I make donations. I go out with awesome friends. I watch my kids play. I remember to be grateful. I remind myself that I’m so very blessed. And then, there it is. Just like that. The happy. The joy.

joy - 2

joy - 3

joy - 4

joy -5

joy - 6

joy - 7