10 Things Making Me Happy~With a Twist!

Nota Bene: Today’s post will actually be broken up into two categories. Five things making me happy this week & five things that are not overrated!



2. The book: Produced By Faith. Wow. I am not a “Christian” in a formal sense, but I have a sincere faith and incredibly strong sense of God and respect for communion with the Universe + power of Faith. So I did a little mental shifting of language as I devoured this book. And WOW.

3. Going to a child-friendly gym. By which I mean, Richard Lord’s Boxing Gym. Today I seriously needed to get Liam out to blow off some energy but the parks were muddy and wet. So I took him to the boxing ring where he can throw stuff and rip stuff off the floors and punch things and hang on things and in general, do exactly as he pleases while the adults workout next to him. Now, I do miss the days of just dropping him off at the gym’s daycare center and doing my thing (because let’s be straight, I didn’t work out this morning, he did!) but I really appreciated being able to just drop into Richard’s gym today just to let my little guy run around…and that nobody batted an eyelash. Because it’s common. Because sometimes there’s a dog in the ring too.

4. People who read my long, photo-less blog posts. You rock.

5. This thing, for when there is still energy to be burned but it’s raining again.  

And now, for a twist,


1. A kick-ass hair straightener for when you’ve been sacked out with your head in the corner of the couch for three hours and now have approximately ten minutes to go from full sweatsuit and nap mode to dressed, done and out the door for favorite music & dancing session. I used to have one that was cheaper, that took ten minutes to heat up and a half hour to tame my hair. Ohhh, I have learned. I don’t recall what I paid for this one but I know if I had to buy a new one, I’d easily pay $100 bucks for the ability to go from “touched that weird ball at science museum” hair to beautiful locks in under ten minutes.

2.  Wait. #1 have been NAPS. Naps. So not overrated. I have fought them since 2001, when I decided to lose the weight and get control of my life. Yeah, I accidentally got anorexic, then addicted (extremely) to exercise and then even when I shed those troublesome habits, I still held on to some vestige of the “must be doing something “productive” at all times” mentality…right up until this year. When my body gave out on me. When Adrenal Fatigue set in like the Ace up the sleeve that my body had been hiding. Now what Jess?! So I learned to rest this year, and I am slowly learning to nap. And I just want to say for the record, HOT DAMN. I took a three hour nap with my face in the corner of the couch and I literally dreamt that everything I was supposed to get done was going to get done, with ease, because I was napping. Maybe that was God. Either way…naps? Not overrated!

3. Broken-in, go-to cowgirl boots that fit like a glove, feel like a house slipper and will never let me down in style, nor function on the dance floor. Every time I look down at my feet when I’m in ’em I think, “Thank you girls.” And I’m not talking to my boobs.

4. Redd Volkaert. I am not the most music savvy person. I know next to nothing about music, or guitars, or what it takes to be a great performer. But I know by the looks on the faces of the people in the room, and by the sheer joy and energy seen between the band members, that I am experiencing something amazing every time I get to hear this guy. It’s not just his crazy guitar skills, or his incredibly smooth voice. Or the black woman living inside the skinny white keyboardist (male). It’s that, plus their vibe, plus the incredibly infectious happiness of the dancers, most of whom I only know by dance pattern, not name. And to think that I get all of this, for FREE, on a Saturday afternoon in one of the best ‘hoods in Austin? Yeah, Austin, you ain’t overrated either.

5. What dancing does for my soul. I’m not going to lie to you, Saturday afternoon, post great sparring session at boxing, post good workout, post deep and restorative nap…I was feeling pretty damn lousy. Okay, tell the truth Jess. Lonely. Going from a year of having someone to hang out with on the weekends, to no one, even if for the best, well it just isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s hard. And I cave easy, to bad distractionary (hell yes that’s a made up word! See my about page for more!) ideas and I just want to give a shout out to God right now for stepping in and blocking on the one I tried to call in to make ease my pain.

Instead, I I rallied my lonely, spacey post-nap self (mostly thanks to that spiffy straight-iron. Frankly I was in a mood where I needed to see the potential transformation in my looks FAST, so that my mood would follow, or it would have been back on the couch ordering pizza and ice cream for dinner) and headed down to do some two-stepping on South Congress street here in Austin. And it took all my blues away in a heartbeat. Doesn’t mean they don’t come back. But I don’t think anything has ever put a smile on my face quite like dancing in perfect sync with a complete, but gentlemenly, southern stranger,or a good friend with mad swinging skills, to some amazing country music.

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