“Are you so happy, Mom?”

Are you so happy, Mom?

So happy: My friend Amy sent me this Anna/Mickey Mouse ornament, as a souvenir of our Disney trip. Love this!

John David asks me one question every single day.

“Mom, are you so happy? I just want you be happy, Mom.”

If I cry, he can’t take it. “No, Mom! I just want you be happy!”

If I get stressed and start rushing around, “Mom, I just want you be happy!”

If he’s in trouble for something, well, if John David gets in trouble for something he does that thing that little kids do that will melt your heart. He sticks out that bottom lip, his face scrunches up, and he cries, and then he says, “I just want you be happy!”

Apparently, it is exceedingly important to this sweet baby that I be happy…..ALL the time.….And that, of course, is pretty much impossible. But I try my best.

Even when JD goes to the potty, I have to be happy. I’m back there wiping his bottom, and he says, “You so happy, Mom? You so happy??”

Ha! Well, that’s what we get for throwing such a party every time he went potty.

But what a great reminder. What a great reminder to take joy even in the time of small things. What a reminder! Be joyful even when you’re wiping up poo…

Are you so happy, Mom?

I don’t look so joyful at cross country meets. There are gnats y’all, and on this particular day it was 104 degrees. Not even exaggerating.  I just stand there with my kids, looking like this. Inviting, huh?


That’s the thing about joy. Being encouraged by other people is so uplifting, but when you walk around looking annoyed, who wants to talk to you? Well, usually nobody.

So we must somehow find a source for joy that does not depend on other people. It’s great to derive joy from your friends, but until you have friends, joy has to be found elsewhere.

I’ve been searching the scriptures for joyful ideas.



This was a recent yard sale find that I was excited about. YES, GOD WILL!


We can take joy in the promises, provisions, and love of God.

Maybe find a place to sit outside or by a window and read God’s promises. Turn to the New Testament or Psalms when you are feeling down.

“I rejoice in your promise like one who finds great spoil.”   –Psalm 119:162

“Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”   –Isaiah 49:13


Are you so happy, Mom?

Nonna, enjoying time with her grandsons

“Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say,”The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob.” They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.  “There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”   –Isaiah 48:20-22

Remembering what God has already done keeps your faith and your joy strong.

“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.  With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”  –Isaiah 12:2-3

“In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony. He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their season; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”  –Acts 14:16-17



Are you so happy?

I can assure you that basketball brings Joshua great joy.

I wish I could send you all a clone of John David, my daily reminder to “just want you to be happy.” He’s so precious. It is hard to stay down when you share your day with one like him, but not all of you are up to taking care of a three-year-old right now. Take heart.

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.  –John 16:33

It’s true. There was Jesus, who they killed for our transgressions, and by his wounds we are  healed. We are forgiven, if we only ask to be. We are loved. He wants to take care of us.

“A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity…. I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.”            –Ecclesiastes 6:3

Some people may roll their eyes at the need for comfort and happiness, but I think that it’s important to try. As John David says, “I just want you be happy!!”


Are you so happy, Mom?

It did make me “so happy” to see JD make a friend at a cross country meet.

Are you so happy, Mom?

JD’s happy place. Do you have a happy place?

Thank you all so much for following my blog. It is a great encouragement to know that I have people, no matter how many times I move, I have people right here. Thank you!! You are a blessing to me. Have a joy-filled week!


Eat Better, Feel Better

Eat better, feel better

I was all excited to buy “Georgia peaches” now that I live down here, but look. These aren’t actually from Georgia. 🙁 Apparently, peach season is over already. I missed it!

This week I have two cardiology appointments. The one yesterday was fairly easy, and all went smoothly. John David, my faithful sidekick, tagged along for that one. I think he fully entertained the cardiac floor of the hospital. My favorite part was the bit he did with the crayons. See, I brought a brand new box of 24 crayons along. New crayons interest people more than old ones.

eat better, feel better

My sidekick…..He’s not distracting at all…But he can entertain a cardiology office like no other.

JD enjoyed the crayons very much, but I’m not sure that he actually did any coloring. The door to my appointment room had a large gap between it and the floor. John David found it delightfully fun to roll each of his crayons, one-by-one, under the door and out into the hallway. I stopped him at first, but then I was trying to give the doctor my full attention, so when he eventually resumed his game, I didn’t even notice really.

When I finally opened the door and fetched all the crayons, there were nurses giggling in the hallway. When I got onto the elevator, the elderly gentleman behind us said, “Well, we all know you had a good time at the doctor’s office,” to little John David. John David was wearing his Lightning McQueen back-pack, and he looked ridiculously adorable. He just looked up at all the people who kept talking to him with his little straight, serious face. This is definitely not the toddler you have to worry about running off with strangers.

I asked the man, “Oh, did you see the crayons rolling out into the hallway?”
“Oh, yeah,” the gentleman replied with a smile. “Is this your first?”
“Oh, no, my fourth.”
“What! Gracious! You don’t look old enough to have four! But then you don’t act like he’s your first. First time parents are, you know, different, more anxious and restrictive.”
Haaaa!!! Yep, true, and we’ve all been there.


So the heart problem lives on. I see my electrophysiologist today. It’s all sort of embarrassing when all of my health problems start coming out. Maybe I’ll just keep my mouth shut today about all the other non-heart symptoms that I have. I’m glad I didn’t yesterday though because that doc actually understood my hip problem and referred me to a local orthopedic surgeon, but don’t worry, I’m not hoping to have surgery.

What I actually want to tell you all is what a difference eating better has made for me. You know that whole, “You are what you eat?” slogan?? Well, it’s true. I hate it, but it’s true. The last few days, I’ve just re-embraced the fact that I need LOTS of sleep, and I can’t handle wheat, and I feel like a living human again, instead of a dying one, like I felt the last week.

eat better, feel better

Out for a walk with my work-out partner, JD

See, moving to the South from California was exciting and also bad, or really just I was the one that was bad. I wanted to eat buttermilk biscuits, fried chicken, and pie, pie pie!!!! I decided to pretend like I don’t have a problem with gluten for a while.

Until it caught up with me, and I was back in the hurt locker. So now I’m back to behaving, and I feel better. Eat better. Feel better.

I’ve been getting in more exercise too. I felt too poorly to do much of it last week. Who knew? Food, sleep, and exercise: three things I never realized would be so important for the rest of my life.

That’s why I’m such a fan of Justin Cox’s Kettle Bell Burn program. (You can check it out here.) He teaches the importance of a balanced diet, 8 hours of sleep per night, staying hydrated, 20 mins. of exercise per day, and taking vitamins.

I recently noticed that his current promotion is a free 5-day course on nutrition, so I just wanted to call your attention to that and urge you to sign up.

His regular exercise program is only $30/month, and it’s awesome, but if you’re still on the fence, the free 5-day course is a good starting place.

eat better, feel better

What, your gym doesn’t have a china cabinet?

When it comes to exercise, arm day is my favorite. I always actually do the whole work-out on arm day. You have to understand. I was never an athlete. I don’t even feel ashamed when I quit. I’m like, “Eh, this is heavy, or I’m out of breath. Time for a nice little rest.” No shame.

Case in point: Yesterday Caleb came into the kitchen asking Joshua to play ball with him. Joshua refused. Joshua was in the kitchen snacking. (Peas. Joshua eats whole cans of peas for a snack. We are baffled and pleased).

So I volunteered. Caleb kind of looked unsure, “Sigh. Okay, but I mean Mom can’t really catch or throw, but….Just so you know, Mom, there ARE bugs out here, and it is hot. I’ll get you a glove.”

(I complain about sweat, gnats, and bugs on the regular.)

9. Wow. It took my children only 9 years to surpass me in athletic skills. Nice. 

Now don’t be mad at Caleb. He was very sweet to me out there. He has played with me before, so he knows that half of my pitches will go over his head or five feet away from him, and I can’t throw very far. And I don’t really care. Sports are not my thing.

eat better, feel better

My sons say that P.E. is their favorite class. Can you imagine??? Well, I certainly can’t. I even found a way in high school to not have to take any P.E. at all. 🙂

Nutrition and exercise suddenly became so important to me after it actually turned my illness around. I was the queen of having two granola bars and a Coke for lunch, so this epiphany that if you want to feel good, you have to eat good was a truly rude awakening. (Yes, I know that’s bad grammar, but it’s catchy, you see. Eat good, feel good……Eat well, feel well doesn’t have the same ring to me, but we could also use that.)

I want you all to feel better too.

eat better, feel better kbburn.com

info graph/ affiliate link property of kbburn.com.

Let me know if you decide to give kbburn.com a try, so we can cheer each other on.

Eat better. Feel better.




A Letter from the Civil War



We have managed to maintain a couple of old letters from the Civil War. Alan’s family has at least one, and my family does too. Yes, they are both confederate letters because our ancestors lived in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama mostly.

I came across this one the other day. This letter was written by a confederate soldier on Alan’s side.

War letters offer serious historical value. I thought I’d share this letter for any of you who may be as interested in all things history as we are.

And here’s the challenge. Can you guess which battle happened right after this letter? This letter was written from the site of that famous battle. Look for context clues. Now, if you are family, and you’ve already read this and know the background, you may not guess.

Good luck!


Dear Brother,                                                                            April the 4th, 1863

After my best respects this will inform you that I am able to be up and about but not very well.  I am very hoarse and have been for over a month. I cannot speak above a whisper though I do hope nothing very serious that matters. And I do hope that this will find you and family enjoying good health.

I have nothing of interest to communicate to you. Our company is in very good health at this time, though some of the boys are complaining but all able to be up. We are moving about 5 miles above town in order to get a drill pound and they say better water.

I cannot tell you anything about war matters. At this place every thing seems quiet at this time though a short time since there was cannon thundering occasionally and sometimes tolerable heavy. Also, it was reported that the yankees were landing above here, but I have not heard anything about it since. I am slow to believe the report, for I do not think they will land. We are very well fortified at this place. And if we have to fight them, I had rather fight here than any place I have seen.

We are doing tolerably well at this time about eatables. We get plenty to do very well on though it has been a little scant. But if we continue to get as much as we have been getting we will not suffer bad.

We had a terrible storm here last Saturday night, the hardest that I ever experienced. There was one man in our Regiment that got his leg broke and 4 or 5 others hurt, but not serious. Also one man’s neck broke in the 36th Regt. Garsls. in the Tennessee Rgt. I suppose there was eight or ten killed by the timber.

Brother, I want you to write as often as convenient. I am very glad to get a letter from my friend or relative. Give my love and best respects to the ladies. Also, to all inquiring friends I will close hoping to hear from you soon.  Receive my respects. I am your most obedient and humble brother.

L.H. Brown Esqr.



He had beautiful handwriting. I’ll have to upload a photo of my photo-copy of the actual letter. Ha! To see the photo, check out my instagram page. I’ll get it up here soon too.

But for now, I’m off to go pick up the boys from school. They get upset if I’m late…

Oh! And if you know what battle it was, leave me a comment! Thanks! I’ll let you know if you got it right!

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