The Happiness Report #10

I hinted to this some earlier in the week, but…

My brother has cancer. We found out this week that he has Stage 4 cancer in the form of an inoperable mass pressing against his esophagus. In addition, we were told this evening that his spine is deteriorating, which most likely means the cancer has metastasized into his bones. The PET scan will be happening soon and we’ll know much more then, but in the meantime we are trying to grasp the reality that cancer has forcefully invaded our family.

How does this fit in with happiness? Well, not a lot, except I know how important it is to focus on the positive. I’ve seen the power of “mind over matter” at work and I know that even amid all the worry, sorrow and stress, it will be essential for us to keep our mind focused on the little things that makes us happy.

Some of the things on my list today may seem small and petty, but you know what? If you can get a boost of happiness from something as simple as eyeshadow, then there is nothing petty about it. So, for now, here is what has made me happy lately.

Friday morning I’ll be joining Libby’s and group of Kansas City bloggers swinging hammers for Habitat for Humanity. As part of their Get Back to the Table initiative, Libby’s will be providing 12 new homeowners with everything they need to make family mealtime a reality including a complete dining set and a stocked pantry. Libby’s is also partnering with local Hen House  grocery stores to collect food to stock the Habitat for Humanity food pantry so that all of their new homeowners can benefit from these efforts. It makes me so happy to be part of such a wonderful event. Follow #LibbysGiving on Twitter to see how things are progressing throughout the day.

I recently started reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. If have any interest in becoming a better writer, this book will inspire you like no other. I’m only on chapter four, but I feel like I’ve pushed myself in my personal writing time more this week than I ever have. This book will make you strive to be a better writer.

My friend, Amy, from Mom Advice created the coolest 100 days of summer activity “guide”. It is so cool you will just have to go check it out for yourself.

Ready for petty? The other day I was at Sephora and the girl put a sample of Bare Minerals Bare Skin eyeshadow in my bag for me to take home. I have never loved an eye shadow more than this! Ladies… you know how you sometimes want to wear makeup but for the most part don’t want it to look like you are wearing makeup? You go into Sephora and say “I want to put on makeup each morning but I don’t want it to be really noticeable that I’m wearing makeup” at which your husband who overhears you says “If you don’t want to look like you are wearing makeup, then why don’t you just not wear makeup?” And then you decide that men are dumb if they don’t understand the understated makeup need? OK – well THIS is that eyeshadow. The “you are wearing makeup but it doesn’t totally look like you are wearing makeup” eyeshadow. I love it and I think you will too!

I’ll end on this note. Happiness is… a suite at The Great Wolf Lodge with one King sized bed, 2 Queen sized beds, 1 pullout couch…. and everyone piled in one bed by morning.

Give your babies extra squeezes tonight. Tell your family you love them. Pick up the phone and call your loved ones. And, remember to look for happiness in the little things. It is often in those little things and little moments where the largest pockets of happiness can be found. (Thanks everyone for your prayers…. they are appreciated more than you could ever know.)

Please note – I am being sponsored by Libby’s to participate in the build for Habitat for Humanity, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Another side note – I don’t really think men are dumb…they may not understand the significance of makeup, but they certainly aren’t all dumb.

Oh – and please share what’s been making you happy lately! Let’s spread some happiness around!

Stay Connected

Subscribe to receive news, updates, and exclusive content from Dine & Dish.

Facebook      Twitter      Pinterest       RSS


  1. says

    Oh my, Kristen. I’m so sorry to hear about your brother. I’ll pray for your family. Bless your heart for doing a post on happiness at a time like this-you are inspiring.
    Much love,

  2. says

    So sorry to hear about your brother’s illness.
    Make the most of the time you have as a family and treasure the memories.
    Yes. All in one bed by morning is the best one and brings great joy.

  3. says

    So sorry to hear about your brother! You are so right, being positive is what it’s all about! Thinking good thoughts for you and your family.

  4. says

    I’m not a praying man, but I do want you to know that you and your brother are in my thoughts. And, you are right… it doesn’t matter if something small and “petty” brings you happiness. It’s important to find joy in all the things that life has to offer.

    Try to relax this weekend and find some time to just decompress. A hot shower, a cup of tea.

    Stay well, my friend.

  5. says

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother’s illness. A positive attitude really does make a difference and I’m glad you are finding ways to focus on the good things, too. I’ll be heading to Sephora to look for that eye shadow!

  6. says

    You and your family are in my thoughts. And like someone said, you’re a tower of strength to do the happiness report when most people would find it very difficult.

    Incidentally, Habitat for Humanity Kansas City is listed on my work’s website, where you can make an online fundraising page (they don’t have a nonprofit account with us so their nonprofit page is pretty basic, but your fundraising page has all the same capabilities as one you’d make for a nonprofit that DOES have an account) – if you go to you can make a page by clicking “Start Fundraising” and then we can all donate to the cause. I used to be on the support desk, so if you decide to make a page and have questions, just hit me up!

    I’ve also read Bird for Bird and I definitely found it helpful – it gave me some new ideas.

  7. Lynn says

    My heart goes out to you and your brother. I will keep him in my prayers and send lots of postive thoughts and love. Your message was so inspiring for anyone dealing with an illness – you are amazing.

  8. says

    Praying for you and your family, Kristen. You inspire us all with your positive attitude. If you need anything other than prayers, let us know. Don’t forget to take care of yourself–the eyeshadow is a good start 😉

  9. says

    I’m so sorry. Hugs to you and your family. Quite literally, cancer just sucks. I don’t really have any other words except those and that your brother, you and your family will be in my thoughts.

  10. says

    I’m sorry to hear about your brother. Staying positive is so important. Difficult to do, but if anyone can manage it, you can. I’ll be sending positive waves in your direction…

  11. Amy says

    Oh, I am so, so sorry to hear this! I am praying for your family right now and please let me know if there is anything I can do! Sending lot and lots of hugs to you! :(

  12. says

    You are such an amazing woman and I admire how you’re facing your brother’s cancer. It’s hard to stay positive and find happiness but your list is a great reminder for finding bright spots wherever you can. One of my bright spots this week was spending time with the BlogKC group, which came together because of you. Thank you! Let me know if there’s anything I can do for you or your family.

    I saw Anne Lamott a few years ago when she came to KC and love her books. Her writing advice is so accessible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *