Things That Make Me Happy

wind in my hair and my face

In a world where the answer to “How are you?” is so frequently some variation of “busy”…”tired”…”hanging in there,” it seemed to me it was time we document the small, lovely things in the world that make us happy. As simple as that. The little occurrences; the mostly unimportant in a grand-scheme-of-things sort of way. But moments that are still present and sweet and quite happy nonetheless. So earlier this week I took a notebook along with me on my errands (which included decidedly non-happy things like preparing taxes and grocery shopping) and noted everything that delighted me along the way.

  • Coffee. (Duh.)
  • Sunshine.
  • Easy home solutions (i.e. the time I learned how to de-tarnish silver jewelry using baking soda).
  • Pink sprinkles from a sweet donut getting stuck on my lip.
  • The way my hair always blows all over my face in the wind, while everyone around me looks glamorous and quite prepared for their closeup. (See Exhibit A above, from a family trip to Seattle many years ago.)
  • The elderly gentleman at the coffee shop who had a full edition of The Denver Post rolled up and tucked into his back jeans pocket.
  • My local library named after a man called Eugene. (He wrote children’s poetry; isn’t that grand?)


  • Remembering to bring water along for my outings.
  • The simple wave of a fellow driver acknowledging you made room for them on a busy road.
  • Accidentally dying the back of my hand varying hues of pink and red while testing sample lipstick colors.
  •  Kids so gleeful with their tiny, kid-sized shopping carts.
  • My siblings. It is a rare occasion when they don’t make me happy, but sometimes they are particularly excellent.


(I did in fact try to take Emily out when I was two years old. But perhaps that’s another story for another time.)


SIGNED, anya elise

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below average olympics

DENVER — In another day of thrilling athletic feats, the reigning champion of two left feet narrowly managed to save a full mug of coffee from falling from the countertop to its utter destruction.

Anya Semenoff shocked the world when she saved the freshly brewed morning beverage without losing so much as a drop. In the slow-mo, instant replay of the event, spectators watched her eyes go very wide, hands fumble around the slipping mug and at the last possible second return upright the tumbling cup.

Olympics officials still have not come to an agreement if they will be FedExing Semenoff’s medal directly to her home in Denver, Colo., or if they will insist that she picks it up in person at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. Though not used in the recent Rio Games, Semenoff has been seen wearing a handcrafted ivy wreath upon her head. Eye witness reports suggest she made it herself from vines found taking over her patio fence.

“I am just so pleased that I was able to save the coffee in its entirety,” said Semenoff, once she had collected herself from the feat’s requisite surge of adrenalin. “That’s really the most important thing. Rule number one is don’t waste the coffee.”

Semenoff’s early life prepared her for her triumph of 2016. From a young age her rather unmanageable limbs habitually flopped about, knocking into walls, chairs, and sometimes a dish or two. This trait — first noted in her as an overall bodily floppiness while still an infant —  inspired the nickname “Floppy.”

With the Olympics now over, Semenoff will take some time to visit with her family and catch up on her reading. She also hinted at a hope that a personal Wheaties box would be in her future. Or at least a Folgers can.


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