Joy can be found anytime, anywhere.

hee hee

Ok.. so I had already decided what to get Deron for Christmas about a month ago.  Only problem was... the one I wanted was out of stock.... as usual.  Story of my Christmas shopping life.  Luckily, I love Christmas and never really stop shopping for it... kind of a year round thing for me.  And... even more luckily.. I have a lot of friends and family willing to help me in these times of Christmas crisis.  So, after enlisting the help of others, I was able to get Deron's present yesterday.  This makes me happy.  I like it.  I hope he likes.  {And no, I cannot say what it is.. he reads this too ya know... you'll have to wait until after Christmas}  Now I just have to finish the other couple dozen people on my list...


So, yesterday was kinda not so fabulous.  Now, if I have learned anything from my Mom and Grandma it is that all things can be made bearable with the right food.  Is this something that folks today frown upon?  Probably.... Do I care?  Nope. 
In true Mom fashion I decided to try a new recipe for homemade mac-n-cheese from scratch.  Wow... it was good.. and it involved bacon so that is always a bonus.  It may not have been the most healthy thing to feed my family for dinner, but I did serve it with rotisserie chicken and green beans so, overall, not too bad.  The important thing was that my family loved it and even though everyone was having a not-so-great day (even Monica was home for dinner after her hard day), everyone had a smile for me about the mac-n-cheese. 
Those smiles bring me joy every time.

Home videos

Yesterday was a crazy day for me as a Mom.  Three out of my four girls were having medical issues, some more severe than others.  Nothing stresses me out more than something being wrong with my child that I can't fix.  So, finding the joy yesterday was tough (doesn't help that the Packers kicked their own butts - I couldn't even cheat and use that). 
Looking back now,  I believe I found it while watching an old video of Monica when she was 6, Mallory was 4, and Madison was 18mos.  They were so amazingly cute and kind to each other.  Sometimes when I see them in my head, that's how old they are again.  (BTW - Melody is perpetually 4 in my head as well)  It was wonderful to laugh at their silly antics and be proud of who they have become today.  I wish it were as easy to keep them safe today as it was then, but that's part of the whole Mom gig... learning when to let them go.. a little.  I have some pretty great kids. 

Crazy weekend

Ok... so last night definietly had ups and downs.  Mallory ended up with a fever of 105.5.  Definitely NOT joyful.  Luckily, Mallory responds very well to medicines and we got her fever down pretty quick.  But.. it was still freaky.  Well, nothing cures that like a Pandora dance party in the livingroom.  Yep... Melody and I put the 80s dance mix on Pandora and had our own dance party in the livingroom.  It was a fun and joyful way to end an evening that had the potential to be quite bad.
Today, I was touched my Mallory's boyfriend, Erik, coming over to check on her and make sure she was OK.  By the time he arrived her fever was almost gone (with medication) and I could actually see the relief cross his face.  I saw in that moment that he truly cares for her.   It was very sweet. I think this young man is a good one, and I'm OK with him dating my daughter.  That, in and of itself, is pretty cool.


My darling, most wonderful husband, Deron, travels a lot for his work.  He has been gone since Sunday morning.  He will be arriving any minute now to walk in my door and not leave for over a week..... 'nuf said.

soy nuts

Ok... this may sound ridiculous but I really like dry roasted edamames.  I discovered them last summer at Costco and they have been a snack staple for me.... until this past July when Costco stopped selling them.  {or at least re-arranged their store to such an extent that even the workers have no idea where they would be}  I like them because they taste good (obviously), are high in fiber and low in fat.  I love peanuts too, but these were a kind of guilt free snack.  So, I've been kinda bummed about it.
That is until today!  I was at Walgreens and I found dry roasted soy nuts.  I know... Walgreens?  Who knew?  Now I always knew that edamames were a type of soy bean but I never put 2 and 2 together and thought to look for soy nuts.  Granted, they are not exactly the same but they are pretty close.  They are similar enough to make me happy.
So yes... today's joy was found in finding a guilt-free healthy snack that was once my friend.

Dinner with Loved Ones

Yep... you guessed it... Monica came for dinner tonight and her friend Anna came too!  It was great!  We ate enchiladas, ate lemon cake, caught up on what's going on with everyone's lives and even managed to play a bit of Lego Star Wars.  WOOT!  I find joy all the time when I get to spend time with folks I love... and this night was awesome!


So, yesterday was a plain day.  Quite routine... long and stormy.  I sit here thinking about it and have to really look for that moment yesterday where I laughed.  It resided in a game of This Little Piggy.  I babysit twice a week for little girl named Ellie.  She's about 18 months old and cute as a button.  Yesterday, she was over and I decided to play "this little piggy" with her toes.  She thought that was the funniest thing ever.  She was falling over laughing so hard.  Personally, I think baby laughs are, by far, one of the most joyful sounds on earth.  By the end we were both laughing.  So, my joy yesterday resided in some little piggies.

I have a feeling I already know what todays joy will be.... stay tuned.....

Best video ever

First off, I apologize for being a bit out of sync.  Hopefully, I will have time to post again tonight to get me back on track.
Yesterday's joy was a lovely surprise I got from my 13yr old Madison.  She recorded a song for me called The Best Day and posted it for me on Facebook.  The song is all about how a girl's Mom is always there for her and makes a bad day into the best day.  I was so touched it brought tears to my eyes.  Sometimes teenagers can be moody and difficult.  A moment like that makes all those times fade away.  It was a beautiful joy.


Weekends are sometimes strange things.  Sometimes I have nothing planned and it goes wonderfully and other times I have so many things planned it is disorienting.  This was one of those weekends.

Saturday started with me thinking I had nothing to do other than head to the grocery store for milk, eggs and creamer. So, I'm hungry, and what I want to make involves eggs so I tell Deron I'm going to run to the store.  he wants to come along because he'd like to run a couple errands too.  Ok.... I guess I can wait.  So, we hop in the car and start running errands (5 total) and I realize that we can't go to the store until last.  I find myself getting a bit grumpy when suddenly, Deron takes us through McDonald's to get me a sausage McMuffin with egg.  He remembered why I had originally wanted to go to the store, new I was hungry and had decided right away to get me something to eat.  That made me feel so much better.  {Ok - I know that sandwich is like a heart attack on a bun, but I don't eat them very often.... it was a treat}  So, a small kindness, was my Joy that day.

Sunday was the opposite kind of day.  It was packed with things I had to do.  I felt like I was constantly in the car going here and there.  Plus, Madison had the stomach flu which was a bummer.  Mallory was also having a hard weekend due to issues going on in her social circle.  Deron was in Dallas.  It was all me.  I wasn't sure what I was going to write about here.  Yes, the Packers won but the game is not as much fun without my hubby.  then, last night, after Madison and Melody had gone to bed, I asked Mallory if she wanted to watch a movie with me.  I chose the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  i knew she had never seen it and figured she could use some cheering up.  It was a good time.  I think she forgot her troubles for a little bit, and we both enjoyed laughing together after a long day.  So, sometimes, just hanging out together can be just the joy you need.

Fashion Show

Tonight Melody is having a sleepover with a friend from school.  It's the first time this particular 3rd grader has actually slept over.  Melody made a list of stuff to do in case they forgot.  Best thing they did tonight {in my opinion} was a fashion show for me. It just so happened that I was the only person home at home at the time.  So 4 different times they came out showing off different outfits.  It was awesome!  What fun!  I have to admit that I never did that as a kid, but I would have had I thought of it!   So today's joy resided in a fashion show given to me by a couple of third graders.  Who knew they were such fashionistas. :)


So, Mallory's new boyfriend Erik came over for dinner tonight.  {ham... oh yeah.. it was good} After dinner we opted to play some Wii sports.  Now, we are a game playing family... video games.. board games.. card games.. we do it all.  It was really fun.  First we made him his own mii (which was hilarious) then we started playing games.  We managed to play bowling, 2- 5 game sets of tennis, and 3 holes of golf.  Good times were had by all.  It was nice because we got to know him a bit better and I think he got to have a bit of fun with us.  Afterwards, they went to the first home game at the school.  I feel pretty good right now. I think everyone had fun tonight.  I may even go so far as to say the joy was felt by all. :)

Time with Mallory

{Sorry I didn't post last night.  I got home kind of late and the lure of sleep won out over the computer.}
I had a lovely evening with Mallory (my 17 year old) last night.  We started our evening out at a teaching presentation at the church (Mal and I are both religous ed. teachers - I teach 8th grade, she teaches kindergarten).  From there we went right to dance class.  It was last class of the session so we did a fun activity where each person in the class gets a turn to add to a choreography that the entire class learns.  a kind of group choreo.  The class was fun and it was cool to see how far Mal has come in her dance knowledge. 
After class we went out to a local pizzaria for drinks and munchies.
I just can't tell you how awesome it is to be able to spend time with Mallory on a level where we enjoy the same things.  To be able to share some pieces of what I do with her and what she does with me is definitely joyful.

Joy dish detergent

Seriously... who's idea was it to name a dish detergent "Joy"?  I was wondering that today while washing my dishes {my dishwasher is still broken}.  Are they trying to send some kind of message of "Hey, if you use this soap, dishes will be joyful."?  But then I started thinking about how much Melody loves to do the dishes and how Madison used to love to do them too when she was little.  What are they seeing that I am not?  Normally, I hate the dishes more than any other chore. Then it hit me.  Dude... I am playing in bubbles!  Granted, the bubbles fade and eventually get yucky, but in the beginning they are pretty cool.  you can make shapes and beards with them.  Now I'm not saying that I will forever more love to do the dishes.  But... I can at least find the joy in the bubbles at the start.

small chat

So, is it wrong to find joy in a simple chat with your daughter?  I was about to sign off of facebook when Monica started to chat with me.  How cool is that?  I didn't even start it.  Do I get credit for that?  There are a million exciting things happening here and I did not start that conversation.  WOOT!  Plus, I learned a litle bit more about how life is going there, which is awesome.  Dude... I didn't even have to ask.  Sometimes being a Mom is so hard it is rediculous... other times it is the best job in the world.  Today is one of those days.

Shimmymobile and Packers

Yesterday was the Hiptastic Bellydance Festival in Round Lake, IL.  I was lucky enough to ride to and from in Laura's van AKA the Shimmymobile.  The festival itself was wonderful and the weather was lovely.  Even better was the quality time spent with the other ladies in my troupe.  There was a moment when we were all laughing together and I realized that most of us would not even know each other, let alone be friends, without dance.  Whatever reason brought us to that first class, the end result was a mixture of women of all ages and backgrounds becoming friends and troupe mates.  How cool is that?  Time spent with friends is always a joy.

Today, the Packer's won their first game of the season.  Yep... I am a Packer fan.  Not a football fan... just a Packer fan.  It was great to sit on the couch with my hubby and a bowl of chili and watch a great game.  I don't know how fun it was for the kids.  At one point Melody got up and walked out, all high and mighty, because I was yelling about a play.  {For the record, Deron yells at the screen way more than me}.  It was funny.  I know when she's my age she will look back and remember the Packer games as days of chili, card games {I taught Melody how to play cribbage during half-time - bonus joy}, and good natured yelling at a television screen. :)

Just plain good

So, have you ever had a day that was just plain good?  I'm not saying that anything totally awesome happened.  Nope.  Ordinary day.  But yet... it was good.  No complaints.  All went well in the end. Heck, even Melody went to bed easily. So, really, the joy in today comes from a day of complete contentment.  I do not want to be one if those people who does not appreaciate a normal day with no problems .  I am very happy to have a nice and completely normal day.  God is good and I am smart enough not to look a gift horse in the mouth. :)  {{HUGS}}

Last night

I'm sorry that I didn't write last night.  By the time I remembered to write, it was late and I was in bed.  As much as I love everyone who reads this I was not getting out of my warm bed.... it's getting cold here at night. :)
So, yesterday's joy was easy.  Actually, there were 2.  Mallory went on her first official date and had a great time.  {Deron may not have found this as joyful as myself}  I was very happy for her.
The bonus for the day was that the Vikings lost their first game of the season.  What can I say?  I was born and raised in WI.  I am a Packer fan.  I do not like the Vikings.  It's the little things you cherish. :)


Today was a day where I found joy in silence.  I actually had some time today where I was home alone, and everything was turned off, and there was silence.  Granted it was also garbage day, so there were many times that the silence was broken by my golden retriever barking because someone was taking our stuff.  But, I truly just sat and found peace in the quiet parts of my day.  Who knew that I, Kelley Kling, super chatty talker, would find joy in absolute silence? Life's wonders never cease.

Yet another chapter...

Parenting is a funny thing.... you seem to advance to chapters without much notice.  Today my daughter got her first boyfriend.  Is that surprising?  No... she is awesome.  All my girls are awesome. It should come as no surprise that someone else figured this fact out.  Yet.. it is.  But I feel happy.  I like this particular gentleman.  He is extremely kind, and I knew he liked her before I knew she liked him. :)  Unfortunately, there has been typitcal drama involved. {Dude.. I so do not miss high school!} But, I am, all in all, very happy for her...and scared and excited.  So, am I joyful?  Yes.  Am I scared?  Yes.  Am I excited? Yes.  Crazy little rollercoaster to be on as a parent.  But when life puts you on a rollercoaster of emotions, you just have to put your hands in the air and get through the ride.

No idea going in...

Today was not a great day.  A.  I do not feel well, which is always a bummer.  B.  I had to take Monica back to school.  C.  My poor hubby dropped his iPhone in water.  {Here's hoping the rice and desiccant bring it back to life}  So, I find myself sitting here at 9pm trying to decide what to write.  I'm asking myself, where did I smile today... where was that moment where I paused in the tiniest bit of joy.  I have to say it lives in a cup of bullion.  I was laying on the couch today not feeling well.  Deron asked me if I wanted anything for lunch and I said no.  So, because he knew I was not feeling well, he made me a cup of bullion to drink.  It was hot, and salty and just what my body needed.  Plus, I didn't have to get up and make it.  Is that silly?  Being happy because my hubby brought me bullion when I was sick?  Nope...I believe it is the small kindnesses shown that truly show love.  Anyone can give you flowers on Valentine's Day... but only someone special would give you bullion when your sick.

Party Weekend

Yesterday was Mallory's 17th birthday.  I planned a surprise birthday party for her and it went off perfectly.  The best part was how much she was busting my chops for the last couple of weeks because she couldn't get anything planned with her friends.  I had been planning her party since July and had her best friends all in on it helping me.  So, every time she would grouse to them, they would play it cool with her, but laugh inside because they knew about her surprise.  It was awesome!  She was totally surprised and extremely happy.  Nothing beats that.
Today, I found out that a friend was allowing us to help him come out for a reunion get together that is planned for October.  It would have been tragic for him not to be able to attend.  It will be the first time in over 10 years that this group of friends will all be together.  My joy that he will be able to attend, and the group will be complete, is phenomenal.  It will be a great time, and memories of joy will be definitely made.

Monica comes home for the weekend

Today's joy was a no-brainer for me.  {Good thing too - my brain is like a blown glass trap} Monica came home for the weekend from college.  I know, I know... she wasn't even gone that long.  Doesn't matter.  I still missed her.  It was nice just to sit and chat about stuff.  It was also neat to see how happy each of her sisters were to see her.  Of course, she was very excited about dinner. :)  Apparently, dorm food is not as good as home.  Overall, I think I am handling this new chapter of parenting pretty well.  Hopefully, I will feel the same in a couple months.  But for now, the simply joy of having the entire family sitting at the dinner table together and being silly is pretty awesome.

Title: Mom

Today was a pretty good day overall.  I got a lot done around the house.  My darling hubby, Deron, came home from Boston, plus, there was no drama (AKA no one was grounded).  As for what my joy was for today.. well it was a phone call actually.  My oldest daughter, Monica, called me today to talk about a problem she was having at college.  This was the first time she has called me for anything specific and only the second call of the year so far (it's been 2 weeks).  I was, of course, livid about the situation and gave her advice on how to handle it.  I knew that she had the ability to handle it.  She is a capable woman.  Yet, I felt needed, even though my daughter was adult.  Plus, I got to talk about something that had bothered me this week and she comforted me.  It was my first real interaction as a Mom to adult daughter... and it was cool.  I guess I was a bit worried that once my children went off to college they wouldn't need me anymore.  If I really thought about it I would know that's not true.  There have been many times in my adult life where I needed my Mom.  But... it was a joy to finally experience it from the other side.
Just goes to show you that the joys of motherhood never end. :)

First Day of School

Yes... the summer has officially ended and school has begun.  I must admit I was nervous about this morning.  After Melody being so nervous, and complaining of tummyaches at bedtime, I thought for sure she would really be upset and not want to leave this morning.  I must never underestimate my kids.  She slept like a rock, and woke up ready to start her day.  She chatted away while getting dressed, eating breakfast etc.  She didn't even complain that it was lightly raining while we waited for the bus under an umbrella.  When I mentioned that the first day of school is exciting she replied, "Yes, it is, except for outside.  There are children and teachers everywhere.  It's like a pack of wolves with a pack of lions".  I had to smile.  She is one funny kid and wise beyond her years.  Best part is she came home from school saying she had the best day and she loves her new teacher.  WOOHOO!  All those worries for nothing... of course... that never stops me from worring anyway.  So, yep, first day of  school was a joyful day... who knew?