Counting My “Happies”

I appreciate bloggers who keep it real.

Projecting bubbly positivity all of the time, frankly, drives me nuts (i.e. the student in the movie Mean Girls who says I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy.”However, the other end of the spectrum that only focuses on what’s going wrong in life isn’t much better. There’s got to be a balance somewhere in the middle of these extremes.

Nobody’s life is always amazing and nobody’s life is always devoid of any good.  I’m drawn to those who write about both the heartbreaks and triumphs in life and I think it’s possible to share both while remaining hopeful.

I’ve mentioned her before, but of my favorite bloggers is Beth Ann Chiles who writes It’s Just Life: Finding Extraordinary in the Ordinary. She recently wrote a post counting all of her “Happies,” or those little things in everyday life that bring joy. Reading her list of happies genuinely did make me feel happy and reminded me of some of my own. These are my everyday joys. What’s on your list?

My Happies

  • Hearing birds sing again at the beginning of each spring, no matter how early or if it wakes me up in the morning (Birds generally freak me out, otherwise).
  •  When a bartender creates a martini with my perfect ratio of gin, vermouth and olive juice.
Ward 6 martini Sept 2013

We’re never disappointed with the cocktails at Ward 6 in East St. Paul, MN.

  • Jumping into a bed made with freshly laundered sheets while wearing freshly laundered pajamas.
  • Surrendering to the adrenaline high I get from watching suspenseful television shows with cliffhangers like Game of Thrones and House of Cards.
  • Rocking out to old Lady Gaga and Katy Perry songs while driving in the car.
  • Receiving mail. Real, old school mail!
  • Treating myself to raised donuts (or anything) with rainbow sprinkles.

A coworker treated us to these cheesecake bars from Taste by Unc’s Cheesecakes in Osage, IA. Not usually a cheesecake fan, but I had to try the one with rainbow sprinkles.

  • Reading fantastic lists featuring 90’s pop culture on websites like Buzzfeed. I especially liked 21 Smells 90’s Girls Will Never Forget and 371 Reasons Why Being A 90’s Girl Rocked Our Jellies Off.
  • My morning coffee. It makes me really, really happy. On the flip side, if I do not drink this, bad things tend to happen and I find myself wanting the whole world to burn.
  • Spotting a Wartburg College sticker on someone else’s car.
  • That Trayse the dog tries to communicate with us through loud, meeping yawns, grunts and snorts.
  • Finding Trayse the dog curled up next to my pile of clothes when I get out of the shower. If we leave any article of clothing on the floor or bed, even if it’s just a sock, he’ll snuggle against it like this.

Trayse Happy

  • Eating appetizers like little smokies in BBQ Sauce, crock pot meatballs, and spinach dip at parties (because I just can’t justify making a whole batch of them for myself at home).
  • Ranch dressing. I’ll order ranch in salads, drizzle it on spaghetti, and dip almost anything into like cheese curds, onion rings, and pizza.
  • The smell of popcorn. This is my favorite smell in the whole world.
  • Still evenings where it’s not windy (keep in mind, I’ve lived in North Dakota and Iowa for the past three years).
  • Lighting a scented candle after I clean the house.
  • Making it through a GREEN light on 4th Street NW in Mason City, IA.
  • Catching the movie Napoleon Dynamite on television.


  1. Beth Ann Chiles

    I love your happies!!!! We share several in common! Making the green light made me chuckle!

    • Jeni Flaa

      We do! And that street is crazy. It’s always worth celebrating when this happens.

  2. Tracy O'Neill

    I love rocking out to the radio; I did that today on my way home with the windows rolled down! Plus receiving actual mail and of course ranch dressing…on everything fried!

    • Jeni Flaa

      Not that something fried needs more fat, but ranch is so good:)

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