Finding Happy and Taking a Picture of It

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tomorrow, March 20, MMM turns 4! To celebrate the blogiversary we’re hosting Four Days of Fab Giveaways. It all started Monday with an Honest Tea jackpot. Up for grabs are products (from people) I came to know through blogging these last four years; ergo, some good stuff, yo! Stay tuned to the blog and MMM’s Facebook page for updates, announcements and info.  You don’t want to miss this. Trust.


One of our family jams is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. It’s the perfect song for everything — cleaning the kitchen, cooking dinner, driving home from school, the solo home office dance party. Whatever.

Just push play above and see what I’m talking about. I dare you to listen to the song and not shimmy. The beat and easy lyrics will wiggle right into your soul.

Speaking of happy shimmying, you need to check out darling Grandma Betty doing a little dance to “Happy” on her popular Instagram page. (Pharrell himself now follows the sweet grandmother and cancer fighter on IG.)

Happy: it’s what we’re all trying to be in this life, where we’re hoping to arrive with our children in tow. But outside of the rare breed of human who wakes up feeling golden — and stays that way 24/7 — being happy takes real and mindful work.

Whenever I talk about happiness, I often think back to a period not too long ago when I struggled to find it. I was unhappy. I wasn’t depressed; I just felt off-kilter, like I was walking around lopsided and half-full. Then I read this blog post written by one of my favorite photobloggers (who went on to become a friend), Karen Walrond, and the game changed. In her blog post, Karen talked about happiness being an emotion and a decision. A light went off for me right then, and I made the decision to be happy, in an authentic way. I took a month to figure out how to press my reset button and plot my Grand Return to Happiness.

The whole adventure was restorative and necessary. And, most important, it worked. I found some Happy. Mind you, it’s something I continue to work on. For example, when we started this CTLife two years ago, that unbalanced thing started creeping back in. But I keep choosing happiness,  keep reaching for it, and looking to put the shimmy back in my shoulders for the all-important solo dance parties.

And so, clearly, I’m truly happy to have met Karen through blogging. She’s a gem, and she’s agreed to help me celebrate MMM‘s 4th blogiversary by offering one lucky reader a signed copy of her excellent book The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit. Back in 2011, Karen joined The Confab, assuring us that we are all different and extraordinary and beautiful. Definitely have a read of that fun talk.

Wait …  there’s more on Day 3 of the Four Days of Fab Giveaways!


Around that time when I was looking for my Happy, I was taking a lot of photographs. It was helping me, getting out there, walking around with my son or solo, snapping pictures of people, life, moments with my camera-camera (no iPhone back then — BlackBerry, baby!). I ended up taking a Mondo Beyondo e-course and then a Big Picture Classes photo class led by the extra-talented Tracey Clark (see TC’s new handbook for photographing motherhood for proof — she’s aces!) Both of these workshops were wonderful and so valuable. I started dreaming bigger and — no joke — breathing easier, and I made a few photog friends along the way. There was one woman out of Philly with whom I remain close, even though we have yet to meet in person. (2014! Let’s make it happen!)

That lovely lady is Holly Clark. More than being an inspired, prolific photographer, Holly is just one of those good people that you are ever grateful has a place in your life. She’s also offered to help MMM celebrate the big 4 by donating one of her prints! Now, to figure out which one. Take a look at this set; PLENTY to like here.

All you have to do is tell us what makes you happy. That’s it. The randomly selected winner will be announced early next week. Good luck!

  • 1
    maya says:

    getting some time alone and laughing to a podcast.

    and crossing things off a to do list.

  • 2
    Jenny C says:

    Sun on my skin, toes in the sand, watching my kids running around on the beach ~ those are my magic moments. Also walking fast (you run, I walk) to Katy Perry’s “Roar” puts a smile on my face every time!

  • 3

    Walking with a purpose — I miss it so much from my days in Brooklyn. This winter has made it hard to walk to errands, but it’s coming. I like walking in itself, but walking to the bank, for milk, to pick up the kids, makes me feel alive AND like I’m getting things done.

    • 3.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Oh, yes. The NYC/BK Life walk factor. Miss that too. Walking is the thing my husband says he misses most about living in Brooklyn as well. Thanks for the comment!

  • 4

    Music makes me happy. I went to the Grammys this year and realized that the past few years have been filled with children’s theme songs, and I had lost my own personal soundtrack. I’m getting it back…
    and a little kitchen dancing goes a long way.

  • 5
    Logan duVon says:

    My happiness comes the minute I walk in my front door. Being home, having my family close and seeing them smile. I get my happiness through them

  • 6

    Sunshine, yellow flowers (really, any flowers!) hearing my son singing to himself, hearing his peals of laughter, and taking photos of all of the above :)

    • 6.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      The kid songs — hahaha! Yes, the best. Thanks for the comment, Francine.