I haven’t joined the girls for #FridayFive fun in a few weeks, but couldn’t resist this week’s prompt:  smiles.

In the words of Buddy the Elf, “Smiling is my favorite!”

As I’ve recounted on previous blogs, my life is full of thousands upon thousands of blessings. Every day things which Abba brings into my day which point me back to Him.

 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17 NIV

If someone were to audit my journals (because that totally makes sense), they would find a lot of redundancy. Orange, pink, or purple streaks in a sunset/sunrise. Coffee. Coffee Creamer. An automatic timer on my coffee pot. Okay, so you get the idea.

More than anything, though, the gifts in my life are made up of important people in my life and how I get the honor of spending time with them.

Don’t get me wrong, the trip Jay and I took to Europe last year was incredible. However, the memories of the time spent together do more to bring a smile to my face than the locations themselves.

Someone told me before my wedding day to be thankful for the parts which don’t go according to plan. If not for those, the wedding might be such a blur I retain no memories of it at all. I’m slowly learning vacations are similar. I find this to be especially true for our 15 day, 7 country visit to western Europe.

 1Adventures with my Love

The above picture was taken as we waited in line in the pouring rain to get into the Vatican. I can’t count the number of times I gathered up my skirt to wring out the water. I felt pretty miserable that day, given the rain and a virus I’d caught on our tour bus.

Walking through the crowds in Rome made me very nervous. Anxiety mixed with a respiratory infection made it hard to enjoy all the ancient ruins, but I wouldn’t trade anything for that day.

With each step, Jay held my hand. He grounded me, protected me. He acted as my defender against the pickpockets on the street as well as the frustration building inside me. What a gift he gave me – the knowledge I’m treasured enough for him to put aside his own vacation for me.

So thumbs up right back attcha babe!

Two years ago I got to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with my grandfather for his 82nd birthday. Words can’t truly describe this blessing to the fullest, so I’ll just leave this photo here.

2Nature and Family


Looking at these photos, I can’t help but notice my imperfections. I wouldn’t consider them “good” of me, but I love the moment they capture. Could I possibly be more than a too-thick body made up of fat cells? Hmm.

My life is proof that crazy attracts crazy – in the best ways of course. From my darling love to the friends who not only endure my quirks but appreciate them, I’m surrounded by people who know how to have a good time.

3Friends and trail time

Running, hiking, or just chillin’ by the pool, I feel blessed to be surrounded by genuine women who get me. I can share my worries, my true heart.

When sitting down to write this post, I expected a more carefree, upbeat post. Then again, I’ve only highlighted 4 things so far. Last night a friend gave me a gift which made her immediately think of me when she saw it. Smile, there is always beer!


What has made you smile this past week?