Scoring Seasons Hottest Toy

Day 57 – #100HappyDay Challenge

I had never heard of Fingerlings until Thursday, from a very happy coworker visiting from the UK. I had no idea they were this years IT toy. Or that they were sold out everywhere and going for a tidy sum online.

It took a small team, and what sounded suspiciously like a drug deal to nab two carry on suitcases full of Fingerlings to take back across the pond. My coworker was elated. She almost had me convinced that my granddaughter must have this coveted monkey even though I had finished my shopping. I put it out of my mind. Or so I thought.

This morning I had to return a few things to Nordstrom Rack. Note to self, stop, just stop trying to buy shoes online! It never works out. Anyway, it just so happens the ToysRUs is just a few stores down. The same toy store my coworker had whispered to me where I might find a Fingerling.

It’s was early, the parking lot was packed and the long lines were everywhere. Case in point; trying to get a coffee at Starbucks took twenty minutes.

I sat in the parking lot looking at car after car swinging into the parking lot. I chewed my lip. I hadn’t called ahead. Part of the whispered instructions were to call ahead. I pulled out my cell phone, looking up the number. The phone rang. And rang and rang. No one answered. I stared at the doors opening and closing as people entered and left with cart loads of enough toys that would put the North Pole out of business. I hung up, figuring the store staff were buried under mounds of shoppers, unable to answer phones.

Grabbing my bag, squaring my shoulders, I marched into the store… through the wrong doors! Cameras were going off, taking pictures of parents pushing carts of toys out the doors – the same doors I had just entered and quickly backed out of. I had stumbled into a store event; parents, kids, photographers and store associates blended into one mass of moving humanity.

I found the entrance doors and dove into the fray weaving my way towards the customer service desk. Interesting enough, the customer service desk was an oasis of calm. It’s tucked into a corner near the baby section. There was no line. And behind the service counter sat stacks of this year’s hottest toys. It almost felt surreal after walking through the chaos by the registers.

I skipped the empty roped together line, greeting the smiling young lady at the counter. I leaned in and whispered if there were any Fingerlings available.

In just a few minutes I had purchased a Fingerling as well as another IT toy that I have no idea what it is. I just know it’s in a pink ball on a stick. She assured me that it’s all the rage. I imagine it is since it’s protectively stored behind the counter.

There you have it. My day of happy adventures. As luck would have it, I have a special toy for a special little girl in my life.

Cheers!

💕

Love, April

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Here’s to The Back Half of Happy or Let’s Get Real, This Isn’t Easy

Day 51 – #100HappyDay Challenge

I’m beginning the back half of this 100 day happiness challenge. Between you and me I’ve been faithful to the challenge. I’ve posted. I’ve tried to pay attention to those still small moments. Here’s the thing. It’s tougher than I thought it would be.

Seriously.

Life. My life is filled with ups and downs, lots of downs, and if I can just get to a steady state I consider it a win. Is that happy? Can I check the box? Is that what I’m really after? It doesn’t feel like it. But maybe it is?

But my gut tells me that it’s more like finding this bright shining microsecond flash inside of the daily grind. Because life happens. And it’s not always fun. Often time it’s sloshing knee deep in muck. And if you are always chasing that big ticket item that “makes you happy” what happens when you catch it? Or it never happens? Will you never be happy? Or will the happy bubble purse burst minutes after you achieve the win and it’s off to races pursuing something else? Whew. It’s exhausting to even think about.

I’m more in Deepak’s camp, read a snippet of what he wrote on happiness.

Not every sky will be blue and not every day is springtime. So on the spiritual path a person learns to find this kind of happiness without needing nice things to happen on the outside. Rather, you find happiness by being who you really are. This isn’t mystical. Young children are happy being who they are. The trick is to regain such a state when you are grown and have seen the light and dark sides of life.

Deepak Chopra

The big question for me is how do I get back to that childlike state of being and stay there as often as possible? It’s the daily balancing act of practical acceptance. Knowing that I’m a work in progress…and for now that’s ok.

By the way,

Mercury goes retrograde December 3rd

If you want to go deeper into the subject I’d suggest popping over to Facebook to check out Robert Ohotto’s video from yesterday. I shared it on my Facebook page or find checkout his website.

“Get zen,” Robert recommends, so we are receptive to this retrograde message.

There’s a lot of superstition around mercury retrograde that I personally ignore. Maybe I’m the odd duck, but I like the opportunity to take some time for reflection.

“Energy never lies…energy always tells the truth. What is your capacity to read the truth?” Just a few snippets from his feed to contemplate.

Sending you happiness!

Love, April

A Life Well Lived or WTF?

Day 50 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Read this article in the New York Times by Oliver Sacks titled Sabbath. Im going to give the end away…

And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the supernatural or spiritual, but on what is meant by living a good and worthwhile life — achieving a sense of peace within oneself. I find my thoughts drifting to the Sabbath, the day of rest, the seventh day of the week, and perhaps the seventh day of one’s life as well, when one can feel that one’s work is done, and one may, in good conscience, rest.

Oliver Sacks, professor of neurology at the New York University School of Medicine, was also a prolific and award winning writer. After listening to RadioLab’s podcast, Oliver Sacks A Journey from Where to Where I was moved to look up the article they referenced that he wrote mere weeks before his death. Here was a man facing his death reflecting on living a life well lived. In the podcast you get a creative glimpse of his last year with audio clips of recordings trying to capture his genius. As I listened to him and his partner’s banter, care and love mingled in a pen scratching frantically, my thoughts kept flying about from the people I have loved and lost to the desire to live a good life, and then to the Sabbath, the day of rest, and what it means.

As the podcast ended, I arrived to the store in search of Kleenex for this cold of mine. I glanced at my phone and saw a message from my older brother’s wife. My heart fell. I called my younger brother, no answer. I left a message. But what do you say to someone who just lost his wife of almost thirty years? Lives just changed.

My thoughts go back to the podcast and the article. Maybe that’s all we can hope is to live a good life. Love while we can. Capture memories. Leave the world a little better or at least none the worst. And then to come into rest on the Sabbath. I don’t know the answer. Maybe you do.

Sending you happiness.

Love, April

Kids Say The Cutest Things

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.” – Elbert Hubbard

Day 45 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Coming home I stepped out front to check on the herbs and one lone tomato plant. I planted the half a dozen plants just for fun and to prove to myself I could. And low and behold a tomato emerged! I’m so excited. This would have never have happened to me in Alaska.

While admiring God’s handiwork the kids across the street came running through my front yard chasing after their puppy, its leash trailing behind her. I greeted them happily.

The older girl, around 12 or so, let me pet the puppy. As I admired the little mixed auburn pup, her little brother and sister began to ask me questions. I love kid’s curiosity.

“Do you have a dog,” the little boy asked me. I said no. “Why not? Are you going to get a dog?” I could tell the way he looked at me he couldn’t imagine NOT having a dog.

I explained that I lived on my own and that I was away from home too much to have a dog and there wasn’t someone home to help take care of a dog. He nodded his head solemnly, “Are you going to get a husband?” I suppose that would solve being alone and then I could have a dog.

Oh, my goodness, I just laughed and laughed. His older sister, embarrassed, cheeks flushing, hustled them away. How cute are they!?!

I never really considered that as a reason to find a husband, but maybe I should have. Then I might have a husband and a dog. The kid might be onto something. Mmmmm.

Three Little Things

“While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.” – Matt Bevin

Day 44 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Happy Cyber Monday💕

Are you still shopping? I had to give my budget a break so figured I’d focus on a few of the little things that brings pleasure with little to no cost. But trust me, I’m thinking about shopping for shoes… so many pretty shoes that never let me down. But that’s not for today’s post. Focus. Focus, April.

ok. Where was I? Oh yeah – little things.

Do you have small things that make you light up? You know, like that singular moment when you wake up ready to jump out of bed to face the work day, and then realize you don’t have to go to work? Your body melts back into your warm, cozy bed and all is right in the world again.

Here are a few of my little, happy things that cost nothing but bring me high value emotional returns:

  1. Pajama days! There is nothing better in my world than spending a lazy day at home with nothing scheduled. PJ days are there to recharge from the hectic pace we typically set for ourselves. Especially during the holidays. For all of you Type A personalities go ahead and calendar a Pajama Day. Set aside your coziest PJs, stock up on yummy treats, movies, books, magazines, bubble bath in your favorite scent. The sky’s the limit. This works even with a family at home. It’s a fantastic time to reconnect. Some of my favorite memories with my kids happened on Pajama Days. But plan nothing. Just let the day unfold. Bonus points if you disconnect from technology!
  2. Sharing a hug, a kiss, with your favorite person. Treasure these little moments. Because someday they will disappear. The older I get the more I treasure these microseconds of connection. It means more and more to me as I move through life’s stages. Kids grow up. People leave, either willingly or due to passing on. This is life. Embrace those hugs while you can.
  3. An unexpected card or letter in the mail, a text message just because, a phone call or a comment in my posts, always lifts my spirits and makes me smile. I think life is about connection. And connecting makes me happy.

I’ve shared three small things that bring me joy at little cost, now it’s your turn. What three little things nourishes you? What brings you joy?

Cheers!

❤️

Happy Black Friday. Are you shopping?

Day 41 – #100HappyDays Challenge

Today is Black Friday. It’s the day when the holiday shopping madness officially begins. It’s a scary thought. Are you out there shopping? Or, like me, do a little online shopping? It’s a great time for deals even online in the comfort of your home over a cup of coffee.

The guys were up early and out the door. I packed them both bags of baked goods, complete with cinnamon rolls, to share with their early morning teams. I’m hoping the treats keep them motivated throughout the shopping madness.

Today is my last day in Des Moines. I head home tomorrow morning on the 6am flight. 😳 I’ve enjoyed my visit but I can feel it’s time to get back to my real life and give my son and Gregg back their time. I’m sure they are ready, but I’ll miss them.

We took some cute pictures on Thanksgiving in front of the Tree Beau put up. Picture almost perfect memories. LoL. You should have seen us trying to get Mr. Abraham to look at the camera with his ears up. Oh well. A few of my happiness moments.

Cheers!

❤️

Take A Walk On The Spicy Side

Day 38 – #100HappyDays Challenge

It’s Tuesday. Already. The days are slipping by here in the heartland. At least for me. Beau had today off which we spent together shopping. He took me downtown to this wonderful spice shop  All Spice, where you can find just about any seasoning you can think of. We picked up this smokey salt that smelled like it might work great with the maple glazed turkey planned for Thursday. I’ll let you know how it goes. But if you cant get to Des Moines check out all the spices you could ever want here.

The day was bright and sunny but the wind was bitter, cold. I was grateful I brought my warm coat with me for the walk downtown. It was a balmy 35 degrees. Bbbrrrr

I’m horrible at selfies but it doesn’t stop me from trying. LoL. My kid is so patient with me. He’s a good sport while I try.

Next stop was the greatest store in the universe. Really. The sign even said so.

I almost forgot to mention popping into this gourmet kitchen shop. It had beautiful things at beautifully expensive prices. It’s a fantastic shop for inspiration but a bit beyond what I can afford. Needless to say, I’m so grateful for HomeGoods where I can purchase a mug for under $88 dollars. 😳

What can I say… it was a good day. My whole day – this whole week – has been happy. I’m grateful for the time I get to share with my family. I just hope I’m not driving them too nuts.

Cheers!

❤️