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So Nicola Young tagged me to do a post on 50 Things That Make Me Happy.

It’s a lovely idea, so I’m in. And here goes:

1. Movie nights with my daughters – now five and almost three-years-old. We try to go weekly to Movies ‘n Stuff – our local movie store, and they pick a movie that we can all enjoy. This Friday? We did Disney Pixar’s Brave, which we hadn’t yet seen.

2. How preschoolers see the world. At the end of watching Brave? My five-year-old kept going on about how turning into a bear had something to do with changing your feet. Scottish accents are tricky! We then spent some time talking about the story… More generally? I love being there to see them experience things for the first time. Helps to remind you what’s beautiful in the world.

3. Date nights with my husband. They happen far too rarely, but last night we went out to the restaurant where we had our first date. And DIDN’T talk about the kids.

4. Blogging. I love the creative outlet and space that blogging has given me to write.

5. Bloggers. I love the people I have met through blogging.

6. My e-reader. I finally figured out how to use my Kobo this year and have been having a great time re-discovering reading.

7. My local library. My kids find stuff, I find stuff, they colour pictures while I browse. It’s a calming sort of outing.

8. Vampire fiction. I re-discovered it last October and haven’t looked back. We broke up over Twilight about a decade ago, but I’ve since learned that one bad apple really isn’t indicative of the whole bunch…

Vampire_Fiction

9. Twitter and the random fun it brings. I love that I can tweet a Hemingway quote and then suddenly be followed by three Ernest Hemingways even though he’s dead. Or that I can post about Wonder Woman and have her “like” my tweet. Good Internet fun.

Me - Honeymoon in Jamaica, 2008

Me – Honeymoon in Jamaica, 2008

10. Smell of chlorine. As a former competitive swimmer, coach, lifeguard and swim instructor, pools will always feel like home.

11. Splash pads. And the joy kids find there.

12. Hog’s Back and waterfalls in general. The sound of water. The bubbles and foam that collects at the bottom of waterfalls. The beauty of that much power and movement.

13. Sunday mornings. It’s the one morning I get to sleep in each week. My husband takes the kids and I can do what I want. Pure bliss.

14. Coffee. Everything about it.

15. Beaches. Sand, splashing, water play.

Water_fun_collage

16. Open water swimming. Just you and your body and quiet. Unless you bump into a dead bird. The time that happened didn’t make me happy. But otherwise? All cool.

17. Hot tubs.

18. Wine.

Me, hanging with Louis XIII

Me, hanging with Louis XIII

19. Cognac. And Calvados. Either are a great way to end a good meal.

20. Fern Resort. Where we went on summer holidays every summer growing up. The group of kids there made me feel liked, popular and normal. I looked forward to it every year and remember it, and them all, fondly.

21. Night swimming. Sing the REM song if you like. But again – open water, calm, quiet, floating. Perfection.

Heck – here’s the song. Listen to it for the rest of the post. Soothing.

22. Watching rain storms with my family from our front porch.

23. Racing to see who can spot the moon first each night with my girls.

24. Less traffic than expected between work and daycare so I make it to pick-up early. So SWEET.

25. Netflix. Currently watching and loving The 100. My kids are currently in love with some mermaid show.

#1000Speak26. #1000Speak Bloggers movement. A group of bloggers who aim to flood the Internet with good once a month. I love being a part of it and I LOVE that such a group exists.

27. Anything with chick peas. Yummy.

28. Blue Gardenia salad. If you’ve never had it I can’t really explain the wonder to you. But: GARLIC DRESSING.

29. Weekly Sunday night dinner at my parents house. A night off cooking; a good meal; my father’s movie room that my kids love; and cognac.

30. My gym’s playcare. I can work out while my kids are happily entertained.

Youngest_craft31. My daycare provider and how happy my girls are with her. My eldest has been with her since she was a year old. They spend summers at the wading pool and splash pads. They walk to McDonald’s for lunch once in a while. They make adorable crafts. I’m happy knowing they’re happy when I can’t be with them.

32. Blog comments. Love ’em.

33. Patios. Even better if by water.

34. The Cock and Lion. It’s my husband’s favourite bar. Kinda similar to why #31 makes me happy. I’m happy knowing he’s happy there. The staff is great. It feels a bit like home.

35. All you can eat sushi. And that my girls like the “pink fish”.

36. Beer and the Snug Pub with good friends.

*Full disclosure: Not the Snug here – but the Canal Royal Oak, which is equally lovely. I also have friends that aren’t stuffed animals, but the Koopa really needed a drink. And Shock Top rocks.

37. The adrenaline rush after a good run or workout.

38. Music – almost any kind. But especially Depeche Mode. Or, presently, Britney Spears, given my 5-year-old’s obsession with her. I sometimes blog about it.

39. Spontaneous dance parties with my daughters in our living room.

40. Unplanned nights out with friends where you end up somewhere you never expected.

41. Random conversations with strangers in bars. Unless they are really drunk – then no. Otherwise, different topics and opinions than usual with no pressure to impress. Just honest conversation. Uninhibited “wanna know what I really think?” fun.

42. When an old song I love comes on the radio in the car.

43. When I pick my two-year-old up from somewhere and her whole face lights up when she sees me and then she runs at me to hug me like I’m some sort of rock star. I’ll MISS this stage.

44. Quiet talks on the front porch with my husband once the kids are in bed.

45. Random fun on the Internet. Example? I recently found out my cousin does this thing on Facebook with her friends where they post an odd dolly picture every day or so and invent captions.

Links to source. As for the winning caption for this one: Suggestions?

Links to source. As for the winning caption for this one: Suggestions?

46. That my daughters play so well with the boy next door. Spontaneous play dates rock. One’s with bouncy castles rock even more. Boy next door has one. Hours of fun for them. And, well, have you ever tried lying down on one of those and just watching the clouds go by? Bliss. Someone else was watching the kids at that stage. I swear.

47. People watching. I particularly love seeing happy couples and kids excited to try stuff.

48. My five-year-old’s smile. It’s beautiful.

49. Watching my daughters play together.

50. Three day weekends.

And now the rules for these things say I am to tag some other lovely bloggers to ask they consider posting their own list. If you don’t no worries. Whatever makes you happy!

I tag:

Lian @ Reese Speaks

Jackie @ The Courage in Me

Lizzi @ Considerings

Brenda @ Friendly Fairy Tales

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