Rise Up

Good morning!!  The sun is up, it's Friday and I'm ready to get this day going!



I should have let you know that I was going to take a few days break.  I will be back tomorrow!!  See you soon. 
Till then a little smoochy from Katie!


Be in awe!

Happy Earth Day!!

I would call myself a tree hugger.  I would say we support that by living in the woods, hiking often, and being thoughtful of how we use earth's precious resources.  I thought it might be appropriate to share some Earth Day related things that also make me happy!

Stopping to smell the flowers.  Or at least gaze admiringly at them.

Getting close up shots of neat flowers.  I'm talking... close!  The third picture is an apple blossom from my very own apple tree.  Squeee!!

Planting seeds to start a vegetable garden.  Fresh vegetables taste amazing, it's cost effective, and it's really rewarding knowing your spending your efforts for something so good for your family!  Plus it's cool to watch them grow into something so big and complex from something so small.

I am trying two methods to start these seeds.  The first is with these really fun expandable pod things. 

The second I think is more traditional.  It's the cardboard holder with dirt tossed in.

This is my first year of starting my garden out from seeds.  I'm hoping for a bit of beginner's luck, but worst case I can still buy starter plants to be sure I get the garden going.  Also, since it's the first spring/summer at our happy castle (house) I need to plan out my garden beds. 

I made a sketch yesterday of how I think they will work out.  I can't wait to show you more about the plan, the actual space that is being transformed, and then progress as I actually get out and do the work!  I think I have about 2-3 weeks to get my garden prepped before these seedlings will need more space to grow. 

The last thing I would offer on Earth Day is just to be in awe.  The world we live in is so beautiful, sustaining, and inspiring. 

We need but stop our busy lives for a moment to take it all in!

How are you celebrating today?


That's a long run

Calling all runners.

I have been fond of running for as long as I can remember. I 've run for distance, speed, and just plain 'ole fun.  I have done 24 hour team marathons, 5k's, sprinting, and cross country.

This is my very own stinky running shoe.

Why am I sharing all this?  Well, I'm back on the running horse! 

Last year collectively was probably the most stressful year yet.  We were house hunting, packing, moving, trying to figure out careers, being first year newlyweds, trying to make descisions about masters degrees, entering art shows, spending time with family, and that didn't leave a lot of time for much else.

This year is already a much different story! 

I live in the happy dream castle, stress is at an all time low, I'm feeling more healthy (as we are eating better), and Mr. Happy and I keep finding new ways to enjoy mega simple things.  It's heaven!  And in my heaven, I run!

A friend of mine asked if I wanted to train for a half marathon.  First reaction.  That's a long run.  Second reaction.  If I did that, I'd be in really good shape.  Third reaction.  I'd really like to prove to myself that I could do something that seems that... well... hard.  Fourth reaction.  Let's do it!  So, I am officially training for a half marathon coming up in March 2011 --t-minus 11 months to go. (I still have mega fears about the amount of snow that will be on the ground that time of year and how cold it will be, but one step at a time, right?)

A new goal, meant I could buy a motivator.  I had some Kohls cash and decided to splurge it on some new running gear.  I was specifically looking for water wicking stuff and a fitted sweatshirt I could use to kill the "it's too cold" excuse I muster up all too often.  Here's a look at me in my new motivators!! 
Oh ya!  So styling.  So comfortable.  So ready to get my butt kicked!

Here is what Day 1, pre run looked like.  I'm smiling.  I'm excited.  I'm ready~
My running partner extraordinaire was ready too.  One of the big factors of picking out a goldie was the fact that it would give me a running partner.  I was sure to follow my vets tips on how long to wait to begin training with her and how to ramp her up.  Now that she is nearly turning three -- she is prime!  She knows the deal of how to stay with me and follow my pace.  She knows that a run means more moving and less sniffing.  And she just flat out loves to run!  I think I actually need to teach her jogging now.  She really has speed!

See what I mean.  She saw my gear.. and most importantly my running shoes come out.  Then I said the magic word.... RUN!?!!?

Day 1 felt good.  I used MapMyRun and it looks like we went about 1 mile -- not including the bit that we played around on the lake beach.  Yesterday was a day of rest.  Today, I can feel those oh so familiar muscles meant for running screaming soreness.  Also, screaming happy endorphins!!

I also decided to let the competitive side of me help keep me consistant.  So, I have signed up to Run/Walk a Marathon in 30 days.  A marathon is 26.2 miles.  I decided I'm starting it today.  No time like the present!

What exercise or moving do you use to keep you happy?

I think I can sneak my sneaker in as a Mid Week Blues entry.  Hosted by the lovely Rebecca at the Dusty Cellar, click over there to see all the other cool entries too!  (sneaky of me, right?)


Quick garden check in

Just a quick check in on the happy little garden. 

I've had daffodils for some time now.  The tulips are popping, and I am starting to see the buds of other plants starting to come up.  For me, hands in the dirt is one my favorite places to be!

Do you have any flowers that you are excited to see?


On the nerve wrecking spectrum of happy

I finally did it.  I stopped being my biggest critic for a whole whopping five minutes.  Just long enough to snap some pictures and post my doodles.

Creating art is a really personal thing.  It's another way to capture what is going on in your mind.  A way to translate how you feel.  A way to connect.  Creating, putting pencil to paper, getting those thoughts out is a happy thing!

Sharing them, on the other hand, is a little more on the nerve wrecking spectrum of happy.  That sort of happy nervousness where you know sharing is the right thing to do, but you wonder, "What will they think?"

Before I talk myself out of this post I am going to commit and just post these dang pictures and be done with it.  Here you are:

Over at Hot Toast and Jam, there are a group of crazy creatives (like me --and I mean crazy in a free spirit, lovely, incredible kinda way), who partipate in Creative Tuesday's

This rounds theme was Travel.  Here is what came out of my brain:

I would give anything to pack my bag, snag my teddy, and head off to the nearest ticket window to start some great adventure!

And with the help of yummy smelling markers, some color!

Travelling for me also means dreaming of serene places I wouldn't mind kicking up my feet and neglecting my technology. 

So, there you have it.  My first time joining Creative Tuesdays!! 

I have a feeling this is going to be one of these things that only gets easier!



I love to entertain.  I think I always have.  There is something so satisfying about bringing people together. 

I had a gathering recently that looked a little something like this.

Wine glass arranged thoughtfully.
Charms on the stems to lighten the mood and help you remember which glass is yours.
A small center piece of origami flowers to dress the table.
I snuck a swan in there too!
Cutlery and plates set out to to make desert all the easier to serve.
Dishes for the table to make it easier to set it for the meal when the time comes.
Potatos washed and drip drying in the sink ready to be quartered for mashed potatoes!
Aged cheddar out being warmed to room temperature for hors d'œuvres.

No matter what your gathering looks like it's the laughs and good times that are remembered.  The items that make up a gathering are merely a road taken or tool used to get to that happy place with a group of people!

When are you having your next gathering?  What special things do you use to set the mood for happy?


More Randomness

I think I'm fighting a cold, or allergies, or both.  So today, I bring you more random things that make me happy.

Maple candy.

It's incredibly sweet.  This particular one really just dissolved in my mouth and it's got a taste that just doesn't match anything else.

Mr. Happy treated me to some recently and I now totally understand the Friends episode where Ross goes into sugar shock after eating a whole box of this stuff.  I can't imagine how much I would be pinging off the wall if I ate a bunch of it. 

It also led to fun stories of how Mr. Happy's family used to make maple candy by boiling down the sap from sugar maple trees.  I'm facinated.  I really think I want to make my own maple syrup next year too. 

An Easter themed candle and white duck with green ribbon.

Both of these were gifts.  The candle from a neighbor and the duck from a bridal shower.  I just love how spring-y they look together!  I have them on top of a white marble lazy susan -- yup it spins!

The bring pop of color and comical face on the duck really brighten my day!

Katie and her best friend Mina.

These two dogs are about a year apart.  Katie is our fur baby and Mina is Mr Happy's parents dog.  Katie, as you know, is a golden retriever.  Mina is a german shepard.

Katie was brought home on Mr. Happy's birthday.  Mina was born on Mr. Happy's birthday.

Together these two are total hilarity!  We try and have Mina over as often as possible.  We also bring Katie to visit Mina so that the two of them can do, well, what ever it is that dogs do.

Mina can always tell when their truck turns onto Katie's road.

Katie can somehow always tell when Mina is coming over.

They make a huge fuss when they see each other complete with licking, kisses, noises, running, jumping... well you get the picture!

Here they are this past weekend.  Frick and Frack.

Tulips are blooming!

It's one thing to see other peoples tulips blooming.  Don't get me wrong, they are pretty and everything.

But, seeing tulips in my own garden about ready to open really tickles me the right way!

So much promise, so much beauty to be shared.  And I finally get in on the surprise of what flowers are where. 

This past fall I bought a TON of bulbs.  We opened all the packages and dumped them all into a big bin.  Mixed them really well.  And then planted them.  Everywhere!

So, I have no clue which colors or styles or varieties are where.  I am going to be just as surprised as you.  For days they have only been pairs of leaves reaching for the sun.  Then this past weekend I started seeing some buds.  Buds are green, meaning, I still didn't know what I was going to get. 

And last night I noticed the first hints of color!  Lots of yellow.  Of course I hold that yellow is the first color of spring and anything yellow tends to pop first.  I also have at least one pink one.  And of course there are lots more that will still share what they are. 

The real question is did any of my Amsterdam bulb survive the digging and re-planting from the move?  I will be on the look out for those awesome orange crowned tulips.  A picture of them from last year here.

Whatever your doing today, hope you find a smile in it!


Monday Monday (sing it to the tune)

Today was a Monday alright. 

A Monday that I would have rather spent doing this.

Or would rather have spent the day smelling these.

Or reading this while snuggled under the covers, sipping a cup of tea.

Great quotes from the book:

"In the race to be your best, there is no losing."

"A winner is a person who goes out today and everyday and attempts to be the best runner and best person they can be"

Today felt a bit like a battle.  Allergies, itchy bug bite, constant cough, sleepy.  It's important in general, but especially on day's like today, to focus on the goodness all around.

What are your go to happy thoughts that make your day better?

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