Q & A Friday: How can you possibly feel happy without shopping? {Day 17}

I love this series! People ask such good questions, do you have any? Post one in the comments! I am hanging on week by week here!

Today's question comes from my good friend Melissa. Lou is 2 1/2 years old, Melissa has TRIPLETS who are also 2 1/2 years old. So I love being around her, she is so laid-back, kind, and has an awesome sense of humor about raising kids (because she has to or she will die). I loved living near the friends I made last year, even though we were only in Pella for a year our friendships are real and deep. They came to visit me in Des Moines today and we got a few pictures!

Here are some of the kiddo's! Their mama's went to Costco and I fed them like they were my little ducks

Haha my mama friend Abby Jane took this from the window, they started getting restless so we pretended like we were having a parade!

Questions: "You have said before that you used to get a 'high' from shopping, now that you don't get it from shopping do you get it from anything else?"

Answer: "Yes I do!"

There are three things I have noticed that I have really engaged in more this past year than years before. When I am having a crappy day and need a proverbial treat, doing one of these three things gives me a burst of joy and energy similar to the one I felt when I bought something new.

1. Listening to music-- sometimes I am just in a foul mood for no good reason (because I am a woman). Often I will catch myself and realize that I have not listened to music all day long. Once I put it on, something inside of me relaxes and I am immediately happier. I go through my phone's battery every day by 7pm because I have Pandora on most of the day. These are the three stations I listen to most of the time:

a. Wailin' Jenny's (these is a trio of women and they have  the sweetest voices, on this station I hear a lot of Alison Krause, Patty Griffin, and Ryan Adams-- three of my fav's! It is very bluegrass and folky)

b. Needtobreathe (these guys are the coolest and my friends who have seen them live rave, rave, rave about them in concert)

c. Hymns for Worship (since I became a Christian in college, I did not grow up learning and listening to hymns on a regular basis. I can't even tell you how much I love old hymns and what they do for my soul to hear and sing them to myself and children throughout the day. I definitely skip a few songs on here because there is some freaky choir tracks that come on every once and a while and those ones weird me out)

2. Reading fiction-- I have always been an avid reader and since I can't buy books, I go to the library often. It is silly to me to check-out just one book so I get several. I am a quick reader and often do so at night, it is a great way to unwind at the end of the day. These are my favorite books I've read this fall:

a. The Bronze Horseman series: I cannot "officially" recommend this because there is a decent amount of sex but unofficially "you should totally read this book!" It is a love story set in Leningrad during World War II and is one of the best pieces of Historical Fiction I have ever read which is saying a lot because that's what I read almost exclusively. The author grew up in the Soviet Union and did a ton of research for this, it affected me deeply! 

b. The Giver: can you believe I had never read this before? A quick read, loved it

c. Unbroken: this is popular, you've probs have read it too. 

d. The Husband's Secret: I did not love the start of this book but loved the ending and the premise of it. I definitely starting quizzing Mike and trying to figure out if he was hiding anything dark from his past!

e. Traveling Mercies: Seriously, I have some catching up to do with this author. Traveling Mercies is the first I've read and it goes on my top 10 list of all time favorites and she is the first writer I am going to road-trip to hear speak (she is doing a reading in November in Kansas City). Her voice is so authentic and raw and genuine and honest, all the best things in a writer. She made me laugh and cry every time I read a chapter. Swoooooon. 

3. Spending uninterrupted time with the kids-- this is a popular topic in the blogosphere of course it has legit merit. Sometimes when things are rough and I feel like our day is going to hell in a hand basket, I simply pause, hold my children, and read to them. We put on Taylor Swift and dance like crazy hooligans on LSD. When I am about to loose my ish, I leave my phone in the house (on purpose): I take them to Costco and let them try all the samples, leave a trail of chip crumbs throughout the store, and promise not to yell at them for standing up in the cart. When they are being too loud for my liking, we leave the house-- even if they're not dressed all the way-- and fill their red wagon up with stuffed animals and meander through our neighborhood like little shoeless vagabonds. 

These things lift my spirits like nothing else! So does getting outside, hurry and do so before the Polar Vortex returns and we all have to shop to feel happy because there are literally NO OTHER options,


  1. Needtobreathe is the BEST! We have seen them several times and I'm always amazed at how talented they are.

  2. GOLD, I tell you. The pandora hymn rec, the book rec, the everything. You CANNOT fall off when October is done, Young House Love left me and you have soothed it. Think of others Ally;)

  3. That last line. HA!!!
    Also, I have Traveling Mercies on my shelf at home. Can't wait to read it.


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