silver linings...

It's been a while since my last post which I know is a 'no no' when launching or keeping a blog. My excuse for what it's worth is that over the past month or so I've been distracted in some rather unexpected ways. 

2016 came in with a lot of hope and anticipation that it would be a better year than the one before. Unfortunately it hasn't quite lived up to its expectations. The start of the year has brought loss in many forms, some big and some small. The one positive I keep trying to pull from it all is the old adage that 'everything happens for reason' and that it all has to go up from here... right?

Anyway, the point of 'leasing happiness' is finding and highlighting points of happiness in every situation whether it be positive or sad because they are there. So that's what I want to do here... give a shout out to a few of the things that provided light when the world was at its darkest. I promise to keep the content lighter as spring approaches and I know the changing weather will bring a lot of lh moments and some fun journeys for me to share!

Good friends. over the past year I've learned the true meaning of friendship and where it can be found. While some weren't there for this photo op, this is a good representation of the group of guys who really are the best of friends to my husband. These guys and several others are always there for him but really step up when it counts the most. He's so very lucky and I can't thank these guys enough for being what they are to him and to me. 

Small towns. While I did some time in the burbs during my formative years, I am by definition a city girl having lived in or near to major cities my whole life. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the city and everything that comes with it... food, culture, architecture. I even love the feeling of being anonymous in a building you've lived in for almost a decade. Having said that I just spent the last month or so in a small town and I really think my husband and dog breathed a sigh of relief when I finally got in the truck to come back home. After so many years of going and going and trying to keep up, it was nice to settle. I don't mean settle for a place but rather just settle down. I could finally breath, sleep in, enjoy a cup of coffee in a mug instead of a Starbucks cup. Yes, I realize that the situation wasn't reality and a lot of it was emotionally hard but in many ways, mentally, it was more of a vacation than a week on the beach has ever been. (I still want to go to the beach this summer, Doug!)  And while I love being anonymous and not having people know my business, it was nice knowing that I had neighbors who really looked out for me. From shoveling my driveway and cleaning off my car to bringing me food that could have fed the whole town to one keeping watch from her house into mine and another literally keeping quiet and passive guard with a gun that I was fortunate to never see. You know, just in case my 130 lb fur ball didn't do the trick! The wine was expensive (boo PA) but meals weren't and they were good! I think I really agreed to come back because it was either that or buy bigger pants. I'll miss our favorite diners, the chicken wing bar and darts at the DLP and while we may not relocate permanently, we will be back soon. Thanks to everyone who helped. I couldn't have done it without you! 

Nature. While Chicago views are breathtaking, some of the views in nature that I took in over the last month or showed seemed to be small signs that some greater power was trying to show off the beauty around just to make things seem better. The picture of this sunset on our way home doesn't do it justice but you get the point. I didn't make a resolution for the new year nor did I give anything up for Lent so maybe I'll do it now.. take my face out of my phone every once in a while and recognize moments like this.