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!

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  1. says

    Sweet Kristen, I’m so sorry your family is going through this, I will send the most positive thoughts I can your way, and hugs too, lots of hugs. xoxoxo

  2. says

    You are approaching the devastating news about your brother in absolutely the right way. You have to focus on the little things, the positives, to give you the strength to battle the negatives.

    I’m keeping you and your family in my thoughts, Kristen. *HUG*

  3. says

    I’m sorry to hear the news was not better for your brother. I’ll be keeping him and your family in my thoughts.

    As for happy… I ordered my husband a new smoker for Father’s Day… and it arrived early (no big deal)… but, the best part is the box has become the best toy ever for my boys! They have completely decorated it and are playing in it every chance they get! Makes me smile to see something so simple make them happy.

  4. says

    I am heartbroken to hear this news, Kristen! Having gone through this with my father, I know all too well how devastating it is. I’m sending lots of prayers and virtual hugs to you and your family. God bless.

  5. says

    Hello Sweet Friend! I am so sorry about your brothers and I am continuing to pray for him and all of your family! Cancer is such an ugly beast and I pray that one day they will discover a miracle to help crush the beast! It has hit our family on my mom’s side and so I know your heartache! And a sweet friend of mine has terminal brain cancer. She loves our lord and savior and so she is living her life as happily as she can. She has become one of my my heros! I think we all have experienced it somehow and it never gets easier! Such a precious life we live and I agree we need to tell those around us how much they mean to us! For now what makes me happy? My family, my friends via the internet and my friends that live nearby! Life even with its obstacles makes me happy. Sending lots of prayers, love and hugs your way sweet friend!!

  6. says

    I am so sorry to hear this news Kristen. What a scary and awful thing your family must be going through. I will keep you and your family in my prayers, and will send as much positive energy your way as I can. It is true – each day is precious, and you never know what might be around the corner.

    Much love to you and yours,

  7. says

    Crying with you over here. You know, when my mom had cancer she said it was the best and worst thing that ever happened to her. The worst is obvious, but the best….those little bits of happiness that sometimes go unnoticed in our every day lives.

    Holding your brother and your family, and you, my friend, in my heart.

  8. says

    Oh Kristen, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. You and your family are in my thoughts. As per your request for happy thoughts, the things that have made me happy lately are the little things – my 7-year old jumping off the high diving board for the first time, my 9-year old’s huge smile while he is playing soccer with his friends, dinners on the patio…it’s all good.

  9. says

    I also believe in the power of positive thinking. It has gotten me through the toughest of times. Just know how many people are praying and lifting you up daily. That’s what life’s all about. Loving and leaning and sometimes even being carried. You aren’t alone. Keep your chin up and when you need a *lean* or *lift* I’m here, love.

  10. says

    I so enjoyed the gathering at your home to get me going with HP. It was lovely to meet you. I have since enjoyed your blog. I think the capacity to identify glimmers of happy with such heaviness on your heart is a blessing. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  11. Elle Hyson says

    Kristen, my thoughts and best wishes go out to you and your family, especially to your brother – I am only one of many to hold you and yours in their thoughts.

  12. says

    I am loving all of the positives you are focusing on in your life! And now I am crying. The girls are just in bed but I want to go get them up and hug them. Thank you so much for sharing and I loved all of the great pictures from the build today! Girl power! And power tools.

  13. THERESA E says


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