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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Share Your World – December 4, 2017 – SYW

Day 56 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Cees Share Your World

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing?

Maybe I’m an odd duck. But there really isn’t a household chore that I “hate”. I actually enjoy puttering around my house nesting. I suppose if I have to pick the one item I typically dread is “deep cleaning” the stove. And I suppose the fridge… but the fridge is much easier than the stove.

Am I the only one that makes a huge mess on the stove top? I love to bake…and I’m neater with the oven. But the stove top? Lord save me from my bubbling jams, pots of beans boiling over and the splatter of oil coating me and, well, everything.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

Discovering my passion is a work in progress….something I’ve been consciously thinking about lately. It’s interesting that after months of not playing along, the first time I jump in I’m presented with the same question I’ve been asking myself. Is it travel? Blogging? Family? Discovering New things? New Places? Baking? Photography? All of the above?

Maybe it’s turning 50 a few months ago, maybe it’s the sudden empty nest, the move across the states, the new job, I could go on. Life is a journey. It’s surprises us. It moves us unexpectedly. Passion ebbs and flows. I know this isn’t really an answer. But the good news is I’m getting closer.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years?

I left Alaska after 25 years and moved to Houston six months ago. Whew. BIG move! To be honest, I never felt like I quite fit in up there in the far north. The cold, icy weather and the long, so very long, dark winters wore on me. Moving to Houston seemed like a godsend. I was ready for warmer weather.

It’s a good move. But between you, me and the fence post, it’s been a little harder than I thought it would be. Living in a city this large is a little challenging. Add hurricanes, tornados and a smattering of snow and frost to the mix and its been interesting to say the least. But I’m getting there. Slowly.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

This one is easy… FaceTiming with my granddaughter. I love technology! Oh my goodness, seven is the best age. But I imagine I’ll say that with every one of her birthdays. Seeing her smile, hearing her voice, sharing all the little things she treasures lifted my spirit more than words can express. Let’s just say Miss R makes me happy. Very happy.

Sending you happiness.

Love, April

Deck the Halls – Writing Prompt

Day 53 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Today I’m playing along with a writing prompt – Deck the halls.

Christmas, for the most part, makes me happy. How about you? Do you enjoy decorating for the Holidays?

I typically decorate for the Holidays the day after Christmas and tend to put everything away the day after Christmas. I know. I’ve done this for years.

But not this year. This year things have changed a bit. I’ve moved. It’s a new house and It’s the first time I was traveling over Thanksgiving so decking the halls had to wait a bit. But most importantly, my granddaughter wouldn’t be here until the week before Christmas to decorate the tree with me.

What to do?

The Compromise…2 trees!

I decided to go ahead and decorate the tree downstairs and would wait to decorate the game room tree until she got here. I tucked a few of her “friends”, which I borrowed from her room, beneath the tree just for some cuteness. I am a little behind on gift wrapping. I’ll have to work on that.

I took the opportunity this year to go with pink glam for downstairs since It’s just the girls this year. And we like pink!

But Snowmen and the traditional holiday colors will reign upstairs. I’ve began to get the game room in order but I’ve made sure to keep the majority of the “decking” limited. It’ll have to wait for Miss R’s magical touch to finish the rest of the Christmas decking.

Hope you are having as much fun as I have in decking the halls.

Ho Ho Ho!

April

Perfect Day?

Day 52 – #100HappyDay Challenge

What does your perfect day look like? Imagine you could wake up each and every morning and create your perfect day, what you choose to do?

Wake up to a kiss and sunshine.

Steaming coffee with cream paired with fresh pastries, butter and jam.

Another kiss, hands touch, a lazy morning.

A casual road trip, intimate conversation.

Roadside stops along the way, fresh flowers, jars of honey and preserves.

Sunset flight of wine with dinner, music plays.

Dance beneath the stars.

Night lingers, laughter follows.

What’s your perfect day?

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

Sparkle Even When Mistakes Happen

Day 48? #100HappinessDay Challenge

 

Did you notice my mistake yesterday?

I could have just went in and edited the post and no one would have been the wiser. But I made a mistake 😳 and figured it’s a good time to admit I’m not perfect – nor have I ever been. Quite the opposite! And I may need an editor, which my son has pointed out to me several times over the last year of writing this blog.

Shit happens
I make mistakes all the time. I don’t mean to. I don’t set out to make a mess of things (if you’re seeking Ms. Perfection you won’t meet her here). Some mistakes are small. Some are mammoth-life-altering doozies. But guess what? Mistakes are typically the way we learn – they are just life lessons in disguise. Don’t let making a mistake dull your sparkle.

Own it
You messed up. Recognize it. Embrace the issue. It’s your creation, your very own pink elephant, to tame.

Don’t make excuses
Yeah, there are always the “if only” or the “but if I___” and down the rabbit hole you go chasing the “what could have been” while making excuses. That doesn’t erase the mistake and sometimes it slips into a downhill spiral, leading into a very dark depressing space.

Don’t beat yourself up
We are brilliant, sparkling human beings. We are love. We are God’s creation. As such, would you berate a small child for spilling milk? No. Remember that the next time you are beating yourself up. Be kind to yourself. Let your glorious self sparkle even when you may be covered in grime.

Clean it up – if you can
Some mistakes, like my typo from yesterday, is easily fixed. Take action if it’s fixable. With some mistakes there’s no going back. There may not be a way to fix it. Or change it. It is what it is. That’s a life lesson, a memory in the making that’s not pleasant. But may be something we can learn from

Forgivenesses 
Be kind to yourself and others by practicing forgiveness. If you make a mistake, causing harm or hurt feelings, humble yourself. Ask for forgiveness. Maybe the hurt is too deep or fresh and the one wounded don’t have it in their heart to forgive – do it anyways. Don’t forget to forgive yourself. See above. Don’t fall into that dark place. Embrace the light. Let God’s healing balm soothe the hurt.

Learn from it
In my own life, some of life’s greatest lessons have emerged from mistakes. My mistakes and other’s. What I’ve found is to really look at the experience trying to distill the lesson, absorbing it so that I don’t repeat it. (Except typos. Typos seem to haunt me and I’m sure to repeat them. Please forgive me in advance.) Life has a funny way of presenting situations over and over again until you learn the lesson you’re there to learn. Learn those skills. It’ll save your sanity down the line.

On that note, I’m signing off.

Wishing you all love and happiness.

Love, April