Wednesday, March 12, 2014

exploring for happies

I search for happiness in the simple things. I crave routine. I honor life's imperfections.

I do the same thing over and over again, wrapping it around me like a comfortable blanket. And then out of nowhere, I start to feel it. Suddenly the blanket is boiling hot, irritating and itchy. I can't breathe.

I'm know when I'm smack dab in the middle of it, because suddenly the same routine that brought me comfort feels suffocating. Stifling. I want to rip the blanket off and burn it. I scold imperfections and try to control everything. It's impossible to enjoy the little things when your Type A, OCD self is yelling about everything. I get mad at everyone else for seeming so...content.

Why the hell are you so happy? I think. I get pissed at every happy positive post on Facebook- I just baked a pie and donated my hair and ran 14 miles. Who cares what you just did? And PS- I liked your hair better long. I get mad at every negative post- This is so horrible. We need prayers. For the love of Pete, stop singing for attention. Either say what's wrong or shut up. It's miserable work- being so angry.

And suddenly I want to reinvent myself. I want to save myself from my routine. Chop off my hair? Go blond again? Move back to Los Angeles? Take a Kettle Bell class? Open a school for autism?

And I usually end up taking a day trip or buying a different shade of lipstick and the unbearbleness goes away.

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Cherry Glaze pulled me out of my last funk. I'm serious. When you don't take many risks, red lipstick is OUTRAGEOUS.

I'm thinking those ruts I get in are less about my actual routine and more about my perspective. With a little advance planning I can help create more on purpose happy in my life. The more I have things to look forward to, the happier I am. Sometimes it's nice to just be strolling along, hoping happy will throw itself at your feet, but sometimes you actually have to go out and lasso some happy for your very own. That's the part I sometimes forget.

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Lunch, laughing so loud I was making the people on either side of us stare and laugh, and shopping with my capital F Friend, Annie last Friday gave me something simple and wonderful to look forward to all week long. Every time I do that I think- Why don't I do that more often?

Today I was trying to claw my way out of the rut, so I kept my eyes open for tiny little happies all day long.

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This drink makes me so so happy. I tried a kale salad for the first time last week and I- JUST- COULDN'T. It was so kale-y and like thick bitter vegetable jerky. Afterwards I was immediately craving friend butter or chocolate covered chocolate. This juice drink has kale but it also has wheat grass and lemon and apples and ginger and turmeric and cayenne pepper. OBSESSED. It gives me a jolt afterwards, like caffeine. Maybe it's a placebo effect but I don't care. I think about this drink all day long.

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Picking Grey up from school today made me so happy. He was sitting at circle time with all the other kids, quietly and calmly like everyone else. I couldn't believe my eyes. For a second I had this wordless feeling of hope high in my chest. A moment of- yes, he's going to be alright. He is going to be okay in this world.He loves to wear this racing helmet at school. I love Greyson for everything he already is, times infinity.  I love this picture because it reminds me that Greyson is never going to be exactly like everyone else- and that's a good thing. A very good thing.

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Beginning and ending sentences with Yo like Jesse from Breaking Bad makes me very happy. It totally ups my street cred. I guess the bright side of having children who can't talk means that they can't tell me- Mom, PLEASE Shut up. You are so embarrassing and you actually have ZERO street cred. I didn't care that it was the series you HAD to watch. Crystal Meth, violence, gangs- I had no interest at all. And then I watched a few episodes while I was stuck in bed sick, and I literally couldn't stop. I watched in the kitchen while cooking, in the bathroom, in bed under the covers until midnight, while walking up and down our stairs, in the passenger seat of the car. I gobbled up the whole series in a few weeks. I am still in a depression because it's over.  It's quite possibly the best series- next to Sex and the City- I've ever watched.

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This book makes me so happy. It's called Picture Exchange Communication. Greyson uses it to communicate what he needs and wants. I think about how vital being understood is to me. Not just to express needs, but also to connect with others. I can't imagine how life would look if that was taken away. This book helps Greyson feel understood. He whips through it, searching for the picture of what he wants and in an instant, finds just the very thing he needs. It is thought that typical folks think in words and people with autism think in pictures.

Watching this quick interview today made me so happy. I love the million details that make us- us. I have a slight crush on Sarah Jessica Parker and her hair. She makes me so very happy. I really wish she would come over and help me with my style too. SJP- if you are reading this, can you please come over? Yo- I'll get you a green drink, yo.

Since I was specifically looking, I found bright spots of light all day today.

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Parker LOVES reading letters and numbers, pointing each one out, making a corresponding noise to go with it. I usually have no idea what he is actually saying when he does it, but he makes little minion sound with so much intent and purpose.

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Here we are, waiting for the trash truck. That anticipation makes me so happy. That and the fact that Frank always texts me to give me a heads up. Grey can't blow bubbles- but he is fascinate by them. He had me blow a bubble and then put it back in his mouth. 

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I love that we can hear the rumble a street over. That's when we know he's near. Greyson quakes with excitement and delight.

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I like to search for new ways and new perspective. In photography and in life.

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Parker would grab Frank's hand and lead him to his license plate so Frank would read the numbers to him out loud. Some day this kid is gonna run Google.

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His eyes haunt me, in the best possible way. Despite the fact that he peed in the bed and now won't go to bed until at least 11pm, another afternoon nap totally made me happy. Daylight Savings is whipping our butts. All day long I think about how AWESOME it will be when I finally get to go to bed, and when it's time I stare at the ceiling wide awake. 

Tomorrow you have two assignments (stop reading IMMEDIATELY if you do NOT want homework): Plan something little to look forward to, and look for little happies.



PS- The fact that you are here with me- reading these words and loving my boys. That makes me the happiest of all, yo. Oh, and comments really make me happy.


  1. I love to read your posts and see your beautiful photos. Thank you, I always feel encouraged by what you share. All the best to you and your beautiful family (and Frank too :-)) from Karen

  2. LOVE your posts Chrissy! By the way, we are having our annual fundraiser The Brady Hulbert / Autism Speaks Mouse Races - to be exact on Saturday. Its always such a huge undertaking but worth it! We've recently found out we've been slated to receive a service dog for Brady, and expect to get him around July. (Standard Poodle named Shadow) So, the money raised this year will be split between Autism Speaks and helping pay for the service dog. We also do a little slide show/video before the event kicks off. I was so in awe of your letter to mom "by Greyson", that I wanted to use this idea for our video/slide show this year. I hope you are flattered and do not mind. Of course, we changed some things to make it our own, but I wanted to let you know because we'll be giving you/your blog credit during the opening before we play the slideshow. We had a friend of ours son, who has an 11 yr old older brother with Autism, do the reading of the letter for us and we recorded it so we could have it in a little boys voice. We are putting it to music and along with some slides etc. I wanted to share with others what great writings you do, and what we moms with kids with super powers, feel our kids would say to us if they could. Spreading awareness two eyes at a time! You are an inspiration to sooo many!!!

    Sending big hugs from Missouri,

  3. Thanks for the smile Chrissy. Your blog is a happy in my day. And I love seeing Frank with your boys - what a beautiful constant.
    ABC news just did a little piece on autism and communication tonight and I thought of Grey. I'm curious if you've ever had him try taking a picture? (not with your good camera but a kid one maybe?)

  4. Count me in to look for happies today! I, too, love seeing pictures of Greyson and Parker with Frank and his truck. :)

  5. Love your blog and pictures of your sweet boys. Will be looking for little happies with mine today too. Thanks!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. Reading your blog over my morning coffee always makes me happy. You help me realize I am not alone. Thanks for all you share. I totally agree on that talking to the kids thing. If anyone ever heard half of what we "talk" about they would think I am crazy.

  7. I love reading about and seeing photos of your sweet boys. And I love how you try to look for the good (most of the time). :) I loved Breaking Bad too! Now, have you watched Scandal??? I promise you'd love it! (Just realized how many times I used the word LOVE in this comment.)

  8. I think it is so easy to be stuck in the ruts. My husband is unemployed and life is hard. I feel like I am wasting away waiting for it to get better. Thank you for the reminder der to be purposful in looking for the happy moments. Because I live my kids and am so glad to be with them even when it is hard. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

  9. "all day long i think about how awesome it will be to go to bed and then when i get there i lie awake..." this is exactly how I've felt for the past few days, exhausted but not easily getting to sleep. love reading about your beautiful boys, today's post is such a great reminder to look for the little bright spots and cherish whatever moments offer themselves amidst the yuck. yelled at my kindergartner this morning, felt like shit about it, but also snuggled him for 10 min before breakfast... take what i can get. you're a wonderful writer. thanks always for sharing your stories.

  10. Love to read your posts! I think you're awesome! Y- I was also crazy for Breaking Bad after having no interest initial in watching it.

  11. Dear Chrissy,
    Homework assignment accepted (and much needed). Reading your blog each morning is part of finding my happy. Please know that, because of you, I will be working extra hard to look for the little happies today. Thanks for sharing yourself with all of us.

  12. Girlfriend time is SO important, and I definitely don't do it enough. Ever since I suspected something was "off" with my son, I began to shut many people out...I still do .... I can't remember the last time I bellied laughed so hard that it hurt, and that makes me so very sad. I'm going away for a girls weekend shortly and I really hope there are lots of opportunities to laugh so hard that I almost pee my pants (which I'm sure will happen much easier now that I've had two kids :) Thanks so much for your posts, trust me, we need you as much as you need us! Going to go find some "happy" today... YO

  13. Thank you for giving some happies to the world!
    If you love "Breaking Bad," you should check out "The Wire," too if you haven't yet. Not quite as good at the dark humor moments but super-compelling. I also love SJP's hair so much - in almost every season of "Sex & the City" too, except for the short cut.

  14. I love your blog! I read it every single day - you always have such great life lessons and I love how you keep it real.

  15. Yo! Can I start calling you C Dawg? Chrissy D? Dawgy C? Ok, I'll work on it...
    I concur, looking forward to something brings happy. We are coming off of two great preplanned weekends, & I'm feeling this one will let us down. So, I think planning a little something for this weekend is just what we need.
    And I will be on the lookout for lil happies.
    Love & big happies to you, sweet Momma. xoxo Jen aka J Bird (ok self proclaimed, but I think it works)

  16. Chrissy, I love your boys, your blog and I look forward to it every day!