Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Simple Joys

Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.

With August my life becomes one fast-paced roller coaster ride. It is filled with twists and turns, chills and spills, and a whole lot of life.

There are five people in my immediate family including my husband and me. All five of our birthdays fall between mid-August and the end of October; there is always much to do in that short period of time. Summer ends, my parents leave for Florida, school begins, and all of the autumnal activities do as well.

Days are filled to the brim with have-tos, want-tos, and a host of other activities and events. Moods range from intensely happy to sad and waning. And each day I look for the Simple Joys that enrich me, bring perspective and peace.

Simple Joys that run the gamut from momentous to nearly insignificant add up to a well lived life each day.

And now, without further ado, is today’s Simple Joys.

Birthday. My son, the first child I had, turned ten last week. He is a wonderful boy who enriches my life daily. In the past we had celebrated his birthday with parties held at home. This year we decided to forego a big party and instead celebrate quietly with the extended family – grandparents on both sides.

We had a relaxed, fun-filled celebration. We were able to just enjoy watching the boy open his presents and he was able to spend the time making the enormous Lego Pirates of the Caribbean ship he received.

Soaking in the moments of my first child turning ten in a peaceful and special way is a Simple Joy I believe I will always remember and cherish.

Marble Bundt™ cake. My son asked me to make the marble Bundt™ cake, the one I made last year on his birthday and a few other special occasions, for his tenth birthday. It strikes me as an odd choice for the boy as there is no frosting (or icing) and no decorations, candy bits, or sprinkles.

The last time I had made the cake it hadn’t worked. The cake literally came apart as I was unmolding it from the pan. But this time I prepared by buying a brand new pan, reading the directions carefully with my beloved reading glasses, and making it early in the morning before humidity was a problem.

The cake came out perfectly, unmolded without a flaw, and tasted sinfully good. Everyone at the birthday party raved about it and my son, most of all, was thrilled with his special treat.

Baking my son’s favorite birthday cake and having he and everyone love it was an enormous Simple Joy.

Great-Grandpa. Perhaps the very best gift my son received was a visit with Great-Grandpa. At 92 it isn’t easy for him to get around, but get around he does. He made the long journey to our home with my in-laws and participated in nearly every adventure we went. My son adores him (as we all do) and was so pleased Great-Grandpa, who had been there at his first birthday party, had returned for another birthday celebration.

I had time to talk to Great-Grandpa alone. He is a wealth of knowledge with a fine sense of humor, a great grasp of perspective, and a huge capacity for love. I always feel richer in mind and spirit after sharing time with the man.

Hosting Great-Grandpa for another week is a Simple Joy I hope to continue to experience as long as I can.

Sticker Book. In an effort to calm the younger children whose birthdays are one and two months after their brother’s respectively, I gifted them the same Lego Sticker Book I gave the birthday boy. They were all enchanted and enthralled with their prized possession. Each child took their book into the car on trips, sat with it on the couch, and carried it to and fro and nobody screamed that another person was “using all of my stickers”!

Having foresight to quell disastrous moments by simply tripling up on one reasonable gift that provides endless hours of enjoyment was a huge Simple Joy.

“Birthday Week”. Before my son was born in August I was the only person in my family who had a birthday in that month. Once he arrived a decade ago I had to share my “Birthday Month”. Now we each get our respective “Birthday Week”. Once we bid a fond farewell to my in-laws and got out the thank you notes to write for the birthday gifts my son received, I was able to think in terms of my own “Birthday Week”.

It is here and I am duly excited! My birthday falls on a Friday this year. I am looking forward to a fun-filled weekend to cap off this “Birthday Week”.

Spending “Birthday Week” with my family and all of my friends is a Simple Joy I am so very blessed to have and very thankful to share.

Simple Joys are the blessings in my life that outshine the mundane, the tedious, the trying, and the odious. They are the moments in my life that add lightness, blissfulness, and happiness.

Whether a text that brightens an hour of your workday, a visit with a friend that is uplifting, or a joke that makes you chuckle, Simple Joys can be all-powerful to your life.

There have been many times in my life that it was difficult to locate the Simple Joys that were all around. Once I opened my heart and mind to their existence I was able to usher them in to my life. It takes practice, but the more Simple Joys are welcomed, the more they become visible and, thus, able to be experienced.

Write them down like I do or at least think about them to continuously recognize and enjoy the Simple Joys in your life.

Wishing you another week of Simple Joys!

Join me tomorrow for Freestyle Wednesday for the eighth edition of my popular monthly series on “Love” on Chief 187™Chatter.


  1. This weeks simple joy picking and eating a plum off a tree down our back lane just the right combination of sweet and tart :-)

  2. This is one of those moments when I wished I lived closer so I could create a cake just for you! Have a wonderful Birthday Week!

  3. Sounds wonderful, AT! Enjoy all of the bounty of the season! XO

    Jules, you are such a sweetheart! It would be fun. Find me work in Charlotte! XO