I’ve recently noticed multiple people referring to the “seasons” of life. It’s the idea that no particular chapter lasts forever and whatever state your life may be in, be it blissful or heartbreaking or exciting or overwhelming, that period will end to make room for the next. I’ve been clinging to this theory with fascination because I think I can safely describe this time in our lives as the most difficult ever, which is saying a lot. The idea that life is a series of ever-changing seasons helps remind me that (as my dad likes to say), “this too shall pass” and the challenges we are juggling will pave the way to smoother waters soon. Truthfully, that sounds far more optimistic than I’ve been feeling, and it’s been hard to watch myself sink into bouts of depression- it’s not who I am or who I strive to be. Managing a website that is focused on living a blissful life can feel fake when you’re feeling anything but. One thing I’ve learned over the years- long before I started this website but certainly during its lifetime – is that seeking the good things in life can have an enormous impact on how you view the rest of it. It’s not a new idea… Count your blessings. They are there. Today, I’m thankful that The Usual Bliss exists, if only to remind me to do just that. As we watch the sweet summer season trickle away to make room for fall’s glory, I’m hopeful that I’ll emerge from this season in my own life with more humility and gratitude for everything I’ve been given. As I’ve said many times, life is good. Even when it’s bad, it’s good. Take a peek at the happy moments that made me remember that today, and thanks for being here!
Chill time with my two boys.
The salad cravings continue! I know all the best ones in town!
The flower garden at my grocery store.
It may look scary, but my skin felt great afterward!
With apologies to Meg Ryan, sunflowers are the happiest flower.
Oden is always doing something that just might result in stitches.
Sharing with little brother.
Feeding the ducks.
Farm stand beauty.
My niece came to visit. Look at these blonde curls!
My favorite restaurant gets me.
These two have a love/hate thing going on.
A morning serenade by this little muchacho!
In our first year in this house, we learned that MOOSE LOVE IT HERE.
Family pool day!
We traveled to Durango for my dad’s 80th. We fished at Haviland Lake!
We threw a party for Pops. I’ll share more soon!
Boys + water balloons = joy.
I also had some time with my big-little brother. We don’t see each other enough!
Oden and I made homemade donuts! Messy and yummy.
Mini bike-riding buddies.
We spent a week on the beach. Getting there was hard but Oden loved the airports!
A beautiful reminder on our dear friends’ fridge.
The view from our beach house. This is my dream!
Oden made me a beachy collage with some friends!
My BFF Amanda came up for a night.
A snap of the Morro Bay rock during a beach stroll.
An affogato during a lunch date with John.
Little hands on little brother.
“Hangry” is my favorite!
I brought home a bit of the beach to Utah.
We are all about riding bikes these days! He likes big hills.
My little baking helper. We made yummy muffins!
This was a delicious Mexican chicken stuffed sweet potato situation.
A cue that summer is ending…
A trip to the ER after a fall wasn’t great, but baby gave me the thumbs up!
He stole my snack.
I wish his fascination with all things cleaning-related would last!
We went to the Discovery Children’s Museum and Oden rode a horse!
Beef Stroganoff Soup was easy and delicious.
But look at his feet. So big!
The “I wonder how high I can climb” look.
Getting creative with stickers!
Our neighborhood firemen invited Oden into the cab again!
He insisted on carrying the bag at the Farmers Market.
Fall is full of my favorite colors.
Pretty sure this is a glimpse into my future!
Oden helped me make healthy 5-ingredient cookies!
Fall hiking with my first baby.
She deserves so much more of this!
Always on the go!
Someone found the Halloween decorations a tad too early.
We met our neighbors’ summer-board horses and Oden stole their carrots.
NO fear. Higher!
I had some art I bought in California framed. I love it.
My little co-pilot. Or am I his?
Daily in my bed.
“I eat chalk!” Sigh.
Looking up from a lounge chair in the yard.
Sun’s out, tongues out!
It was too windy for the balloons to go up at the Autumn Aloft festival. Just one.
“Let’s take a nice photo in the hammock!”
The zoo carousel is Oden’s favorite! He rode the kangaroo twice.
Cute monkeys holding tails!
‘Tis the season for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!
I love how adventurous he is.
Just about 11 weeks until the fully-leaded version!
Our first visit to the pumpkin patch!
Daddy showing Oden some moves.
The colors are popping over Guardsman Pass!
Look at this face! Peek-a-boo!
If you even sort of enjoy music, I highly recommend this Netflix documentary!
Doggie bed sick day TV time.
I felt guilty about Dominos delivery until Oden (and his mom) loved it.
Poor neglected beast! Ever hopeful with the ball nearby.
And three years ago this week, I was super excited about this teeny bump that would be Oden.
You know. Just the usual bliss.