April 26, 2011


I just got done reading the book, The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin and truly enjoyed it! It made me self-reflect on my own happiness, the actions I take, and little things I can do that can increase my own happiness while spreading it to others. I strongly encourage you to check out her book or her website!

The book got me thinking, " What makes me happy? What things in my life truly bring my joy and happiness?" I thought I would share with you all some of the things in my life that make me truly happy, through pictures. Since photography makes me happy and is a hobby that I like to pursue, I thought this would be the best way to display things that make me happy and my soul smile (in no particular order).

Carol Jean
This is one of my favorite pictures of my mom. It was taken at a local bar in Mankato, MN after my oldest sister Jen's surprise 30th birthday party. My whole family continued the celebration downtown at Blue Bricks, one of my favorite bars. Everyone had a smile on their faces and embraced the festivities. In the photo my moms spirit and energy, shine through, and I love her coyness. I look at this picture and see the traits in which I inherited from her. This photo was taken in May and my mother then passed away in November. I keep this photo on my desktop and smile whenever I look at it, she may not be here in the physical form but I know she is always with me. My family
When I graduated with my masters, my whole family flew/drove from MN to VA to support me. I felt soooo loved and appreciated during this time. My family can sometimes be a crazy one, we all get busy with our own lives, but during times when it matters most we come together.

Clouds & The Countryside

This picture is perfect because it represents two things that make me happy all at once.  First, I LOVE clouds! Whenever I look up at the clouds, I smile. They are sooo beautiful, ever changing, and represent so much.  I also love driving in the country side, I grew up in the country, so it always reminds me of my childhood. The above picture is of a bean field on a wonderful summer day, I took it on my drive home to Fairmont, MN. 

Trees, are by far the part of nature that I love the most. I find trees so fascinating, they are strong, solitaire, beautiful creations. Not one tree is the same! I am in such awe of trees, they hold a deep meaning to me. This photo is one of my first favorite trees ( I now have at least 3). Growing up, we lived 5 miles to town, where my grandma lived. On the drive to town we would pass this tree, it is placed on a bend in the road, where you can pick up a small gravel road from the main road. I always looked at it in awe, taken back by its beauty and strength.


This lady is my everything! I LOVE her SOOOOOO SOOOO much, at times my heart bursts! Growing up, I spent A LOT of time at her house, I basically lived with her for 1/4 of the year, because she lived in town where I went to school and had friends. She imparted many things that now make me who I am. She is the one person in my family, who I feel truly understands me and accepts me for who I am. I love it when she states, "I wouldn't expect anything else." when I tell her silly stories of my life.  Plus, isn't she just the cutest!


This photo is of Kathmandu, Nepal, where Dave and I attended a wedding of a friend. There is so much of this world to see and so many adventures to be had. I get excited every time Dave and I talk about the countries we want to visit and things we want to do. There is so much this world has to offer, and I for sure am one that will take it up on its offer. Like Nas says, " Who's World Is This? The World Is Mine, It's Mine."


To me my friends are my family. They are the ones that were there when I transformed into the woman I am now. They get me, the whole me! They have been there for the fun times and have supported me through the worst. My friends are irreplaceable and hard to beat! This photo is of my graduation, when two of my friends traveled the country to celebrate this accomplishment with me.

Cuddling with the AVE- to my SHOAVE
The feeling of his arms around me, holding me tight is one that I cannot explain. In his arms, I am safe, I am loved, and I am cherished. There is no place I would rather be than with his arms around me.

Now that I have shared a little, I would love to hear your thoughts on what makes you happy! 


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