Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Makes Me Happiest

Plenty of things make me happy, but today I'm sharing just 10 of the things that make me really happy. That's like picking 10 favorite items from your entire closet. I have some obvious favorites, but it's really hard limiting yourself to so few things.

Without further ado, the 10 things that make me really happy:

Family and Friends

My husband recently surprised me with a trip to Michigan for my 30th birthday. I had a wonderful surprise party that included my parents and some of my closest friends. Way.To.My.Heart. I was so excited and energized by spending some time back home with people I love!

family and friends

Golden Retrievers

I seriously cannot help myself whenever I see someone walking a golden, and I always stop what I'm doing to admire it. This is particularly dangerous for me whenever I see a golden retriever while driving. They are the best dogs in the whole wide world. My dog growing up was a golden, and I think I need another one soon. Hint, hint husband!

Every time I travel, it's like a fun little adventure. Who doesn't love a good adventure? It's like taking part in your very own movie. I suppose that should be what life is anyways, but traveling makes life feel like even more of an exciting story to me. Let's explore something new! I want to see it all. Travel just makes me giddy like a 5 year old in a candy store. Just ask my husband. I'm not much of a morning person, but I will wake up at 3am with a smile on my face just to catch a flight!

me and my golden . : : . snapshot of a castle in Bellinzona, Switzerland
flying over Lake Mead on our way to Las Vegas . : : . me, my grandparents, and my pup


So what if I may be the only 30 year old birdwatcher in Florida. It's the coolest new hobby around, haven't you heard? I absolutely love watching the birds, and I don't just mean watching the local birds eat from a backyard feeder. (Although that's perfectly acceptable too.) I love going out into the woods with my binoculars and searching for new birds to add to my life list. Birdwatching is such a peaceful hobby, and I think it's fun learning about bird behaviors. I'm pretty happy with a pair of binoculars and some birds calling in the distance.

The Lake

When I say the lake makes me happy, I'm mostly talking about the one where I grew up in Michigan. There is just nothing like listening to the peaceful lapping of waves at the shoreline while you walk through fresh dew in the yard. The ocean is great, but it doesn't do the same thing for me as the lakes in northern Michigan. Alligators infest the lakes in Florida, but the lakes in Michigan are pure and clean. That lake is where I've done some of my best thinking. There's just nothing that compares!

female cardinal . . : : . . the lake where I grew up in Michigan
sculpture outside of the Sheraton in Denver . . : : . . the Rocky Mountains

Denver, Colorado

I spent five years of my life living in Colorado, and I even met my husband there. Denver was where I had my first "big kid" job. It's where I wandered museums, enjoyed the shining sun, had engagement pictures taken, listened to music from street performers, and countless other great and inspiring things. That place is alive with culture, art, and energy. I just love it!

The Mountains
It wouldn't be fair to not include the mountains in the list of things that make me happy. I did live with both lakes and mountains in my life for years. That might be why I loved Switzerland so much. It really had the best of both those worlds, the mountains and the lakes. Not only are the mountains great for snowboarding, they are absolutely beautiful during the summertime too. Dominating but beautiful, full of fresh air and life.

This is something that's always made me happy. Listening to music reminds me of where I came from, because I have so many musical people in my family. I even played the saxophone in band at one point. My uncles and dad are all very musical, and my cousin currently plays the violin. She's spectacular at playing! Needless to say, I love music. We've been to various concerts, and I can't get enough of the sweet sound of music to my ears.

one of our engagement photos by Alison Rose Photography
outside of The Incredible Christmas Place . : : . music to my ears . : : . my love

Christmas Stores
These places make me happy, because they are filled to the brim with everything Christmas. The smell of pine trees, peppermint, and the holidays. Sounds of carols, train sets, and crackling fires fill the air. I have already mentioned Christmas stores on this blog, but I can't help it since they make me so darn happy. It's near impossible for me to pass by a Christmas store without going inside.

Lastly... love makes me happy. Sometimes I think that wedding photographers have the best job in the world, because they get the chance to document people's happiest days. I am happiest when surrounded by people who love and accept me. It's also a wonderful thing to love someone else. Love someone. It just might make you happy too!
What makes you happy?


  1. What a great list. I love how much you love Christmas stores. :)

  2. Birdwatching! Such a cool hobby. I think there's something really great about young people who enjoy hobbies typically associated with "old people," to put it bluntly. I think it says something about your soul, that you are wise enough to appreciate peace and nature and its beauty.

  3. What a great post. I love your list.

  4. There's a lot of Pure Michigan in this post and I love that!