Monday, August 17, 2015

8 Photos of Happiness

Since I've been home and catching up on the last couple weeks of everyone's blogs, I've been seeing a lot of happiness thanks to the 8 photos of happiness tag. Jan from Wag 'n Woof Pets tagged me to participate--and y'all, this was really one of the hardest things I've had to do.

On the surface, the rules are simple. The idea originated with Ariel's Little Corner of the Internet and the goal is to spread happiness. You choose 8 photos of anything that makes you happy: moments, objects, people, pets, places. If you want to give a brief description of the photo, you can or you can let the photos do the talking. Then you tag up to 10 other bloggers.

I tried to find photos that I hadn't shared already. In fact, I didn't even look at any photos taken in 2015 so that even if I did repeat some, they would be older ones. But that didn't make things any easier. I mean, so many things make me happy: my family, my friends, alpacas, books, beer, flowers, butterflies, travel, and every single picture I have ever taken of my pets. As I browsed my photo library, I narrowed it down to 23--as I'm typing this, I'm still not even the tiniest bit sure of which 8 are going to make the cut, but I hope the photos spread a little of the happiness they bring me every time I look at them.

Photo #1: In life before Barley, I hated snow. But Barley loves snow. She's really taught me to embrace snow. There are so many fun pictures of her, but I think this one of her "dashing through the snow" really captures her snow spirit. 

Photo #2: I know this one--or one from this day at least--has been posted before. This is Barley with her Canine Good Citizen certificate and the ribbon from our training center. In most cases, Barley is such a normal dog now. We can walk in our neighborhood and she doesn't pay attention to dogs barking in their yards, but there was a time when she couldn't do this and our CGC test marked the first year and a half of really hard work on both of our parts and it makes me so happy to think back on how far we've come.

Photo #3: This is one of my favorite photos. I've been cheering the Pirates on with my dad my entire life and I love PNC Park, so this photo captures so many of my favorite things.

Photo #4: Soth is not a snuggler. Despite being told by the shelter volunteers that he'd be happy on my lap all day, Soth rarely sits on my lap. But this afghan that my dad's grandma made is magic. If I'm covered up with this blanket, Soth comes out from wherever he's lurking and sits on my lap and purrs away. Also, on this particular day, we were watching the Dancing with the Stars finale where Maks and Meryl won the mirror ball trophy (#MaksAndMerylForLife). You probably don't know this, but I'm a huge DWTS fan and every season my college friends and I have in-depth Facebook discussions of the episodes, and during this particular season, we had just reunited for the first time in years and watched night one of the finale together in person--only to find out that the finale was actually 2 nights, so we were texting at this moment, so there's lots of happiness behind the scenes of this photo, too.

Photo #5: Last summer, my grandparents came out to my parents' house from Colorado and the pets and I happened to be in Alabama then, too. They'd met Soth before when I lived in New Mexico, but they'd never met my Barley girl.

Photo #6: The only thing missing from this photo is my brother (who is missing from every photo--clearly we need to take more photos). Last summer, my parents, my sister, and I went to the space center in Huntsville, AL and then went to taste beer at Straight to Ale as my dad's birthday celebration. No birthday is complete without ice cream--and I hadn't had it since I went on a space center field trip in 5th grade, so I insisted we have some together. We also ate this on the bench near Miss Baker the monkeynaut's grave.

Photo #7: There are so many things I love about this photo. One, I never get tired of seeing sibling kisses between Barley and Soth. For the longest time, I never thought they'd get this close to each other and now Soth regularly rubs against Barley's legs. Also, I love Soth in bags. If you look closely, you might notice that the handle is dangling down from the top of the bag--I have to cut the handles on bags because Soth always gets his head stuck in them and can't get himself back out, which also makes me laugh.

Photo #8: Soth is my handsome boy and I just love everything about this picture. (Sidenote: I know poinsettias are poisonous--he was monitored very closely back when I actually still had living plants in my house.) Soth just looks so good in red and seeing him beside a pretty red plant makes me so happy. In fact, it makes me so happy that I painted this picture. Also, this photo was taken in my living room window in my old apartment--my very first apartment, which I adored and wish I could have moved across the country with me--and Soth and I used to stand in this window and watch parades go by, which just made me very happy.

Apologies to my brother Ben, John Mayer, my first Pound Puppies, Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, the Dickinson Homestead, my sister's kindergarteners, Thirsty Dog Brewing Co., and Rosie and Mick--the ducks who lived in my parents old neighborhood, who were all very close to making the cut and bring me lots of joy on a regular basis.

I know this is the point where I'm supposed to tag other bloggers to share their pictures, but I think literally every single blog I read, except for my sister over at Lindsey Likes to Run has done this already (Linds, if you do this, make sure there's a picture of our brother!). If anyone else has been unplugged for the last couple weeks like I have been and you haven't done this yet, consider yourself tagged!


  1. These were great 8 photos of happiness! This was one of my favorite blogging events, it was so much fun to see everyone's photos.

    1. Thank you! This was a fun event--it's always nice to see happiness popping up all over your computer screen!

  2. These are wonderful!! There is so much happiness in all of these photos and your memories and stories behind every one. I'm so glad you joined in and shared these with us!
    What a moment you captured with Barley and Soth touching noses...I'd love to get a photo of Sam doing anything with any of the dogs....those are tough to get!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    1. Thank you! I actually have several pictures of Bar and Soth touching noses--but it always happens when there's weird light in the room or I'm in such a hurry to capture it before it's over that they end up all blurry, so I love that this one actually shows that they do love each other :)

  3. Aw, love this! I'll have to go through all my super selfies ;-)

    1. You do have some very happy super selfies.