Tag Archives: happy

52 FEATS – NUMBER 46 (Smiling)

15 Nov

I tend to be a moody, morose, and melancholy person.  I’m not trying to spread gloom and doom…that’s just what seems to take over sometimes.  It’s in my head and inadvertently comes out.  And yet, I absolutely adore people who seem genuinely cheerful.  I feel like that could never be me, but lately, I’m knocking the same phrase around in my head, over and over:

Fake it ’til you make it.

What if I just pretend to be chipper?  What if I put on a smile and see if my mood follows?

I tend to have a grumpy puss, and I know that when I’m stressed, my face is particularly expressive.  (Not in a good way.)  I also firmly believe that attitudes, good or bad, are contagious.  I go through that experience every time my husband comes home from a terrible day at work – within minutes, me and the kids are cranky, too.  He passes the negativity on to us, while still hanging on to it himself.  What a neat trick.

As a way to banish the blues, this week I’m going to work on simply smiling.  I may end up looking like Sookie Stackhouse (shout out to True Blood!) with a dimwitted grin stuck to my goofy face, but at least that might be less toxic than letting my stress seep out everywhere.  I’m going to see if plastering that smile on the outside will help to improve my mood on the inside.


Have a Happy, Safe Halloween!

26 Oct

My love of Halloween is no secret among my friends. I adore all of the rituals, from decorating the house and baking pumpkin-shaped cookies to carving jack-o-lanterns and handing out candy. To make sure your family has a great October 31st, check out the following safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Halloween Safety Tips


  • Plan costumes that are bright and reflective. Consider adding reflective tape or striping to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags for greater visibility.
  • Because masks can limit or block eyesight, consider non-toxic makeup and decorative hats as safer alternatives. Hats should fit properly to prevent them from sliding over eyes.
  • If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  • Obtain flashlights with fresh batteries for all children and their escorts.
  • Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional. This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections.


  • Small children should never carve pumpkins. Children can draw a face with markers.  Then parents can do the cutting.
  • Consider using a flashlight or glow stick instead of a candle to light your pumpkin. If you do use a candle, a votive candle is safest.
  • Candlelit pumpkins should be placed on a sturdy table, away from curtains and other flammable objects, and should never be left unattended.


  • To keep homes safe for visiting trick-or-treaters, parents should remove from the porch and front yard anything a child could trip over such as garden hoses, toys, bikes and lawn decorations.
  • Parents should check outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs.
  • Wet leaves should be swept from sidewalks and steps.


  • A parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.
  • If your older children are going alone, plan and review the route that is acceptable to you. Agree on a specific time when they should return home.
  • Only go to homes with a porch light on and never enter a home or car for a treat.

Because pedestrian injuries are the most common injuries to children on Halloween, remind Trick-or Treaters:

  • Stay in a group and communicate where they will be going.
  • Carry a cell phone for quick communication.
  • Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • If no sidewalk is available, walk at the far edge of the roadway facing traffic.
  • Never cut across yards or use alleys.
  • Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom). Never cross between parked cars or out driveways.
  • Don’t assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn’t mean others will!


  • A good meal prior to parties and trick-or-treating will discourage youngsters from filling up on Halloween treats.
  • Consider purchasing non-food treats for those who visit your home, such as coloring books or pens and pencils.
  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to ration treats for the days following Halloween.

For more information, visit www.aap.org.

Happy New Year!

4 Jan

I love the start of a brand-spankin’-new year, and the accompanying clean slate.  I am delighted (and relieved) to report that our household had a delightful Christmas and an easy two-week vacation.  Paige—my daughter with autism—turned 15 yesterday.  I find that hard to believe, thought it’s more reason to celebrate.

As I mentioned in a December post, I am working on my prayer journal, noting what I’ve requested, what gifts I have received and what I have given.  It’s an intriguing project, one I’m not contributing to every single day but I feel fine about that, too.  I feel fine about everything, actually.  I’m recharged and ready to work hard and work smart this year.

A Wall Street Journal story from a few days ago only adds fuel to my fire:

In the Chinese calendar, 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, which is predicted to be a peaceful year, conducive to artistic pursuits.  (It also is an auspicious year for thinking, study and investment.)  That should bode well for the dozens of sensitive, creative artists who shared with us their goals for the coming year.

WSJ reporters spoke with dozens of artists across the spectrum (from painters and poets to architects and academics) about their goals for the coming year.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Olafur Eliasson, Danish artist, best known in the U.S. for erecting man-made ‘Waterfalls’ around New York: One of my goals for the year is to create a work of art that only consists of a feeling.  I’m trying to work out how to get at that, how to define it as a work of art.  There are obviously many feelings, but the one I’d like to create is the feeling of community.  Highly abstract, I know.

Thomas Keller, chef; his restaurants include the French Laundry in California: It’s always the little things.  In the French Laundry, which is a very small space, where can people put their handbags?  We did three prototypes of chairs with a little shelf that slides in an out and you can put your handbag on that. A cabinetmaker could add it onto the chairs.

Oprah Winfrey, television host, chairman of production company Harpo Inc. and chairman of cable network OWN: I don’t make them, because I live in the space that I’m in right now.  I move with the flow, live in the moment…  If you ask for love, you think it’s going to be all lovey, you think you’re going to walk around feeling all kinds of loving feelings.  No.  You ask for love, you’re given the opposite, so you can show that you have love and compassion.

Cloris Leachman, actress: Have a baby and get married.  Sing on “American Idol.”

Want more? Click here for a link to the full story.

Happy New Year from More than Mothers!

31 Dec

Lisa, Lori, and Jen wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday.  Here’s to a great new year in 2011!

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