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Rick and I were recently at a party – talking to someone who is traveling through Europe this summer.

My husband Rick immediately began talking about the beauty of Amsterdam, the Van Gogh museum and a whole bunch of other stuff.


And I immediately thought to myself, “Hold on a minute. I want to go to Europe all summer. I’ve never been to Amsterdam and well, adulthood is lame.”

Because all this working and laundry and filling the dishwasher is nothing like Europe. There is not one 17th century archway or cobblestone street in my kitchen.

I do have this dream that one day, Rick and I, along with our 37 children, will fly to Europe, buy EuroRail passes and just travel. I know a couple who did it last summer. Yes, they only have two children but still. I think it’s possible. I’m offering it to the universe as a possibility in case the universe feels like giving it to me.

In the meantime, (while we are working, doing laundry and filling the dishwasher), Rick and I decided to make a Get Happy list.

Not to say that we are unhappy because we aren’t. But with 5 kids (ages 2 to 10), our days are intense. And adjusting to South Florida has been more challenging than we anticipated. Our oldest daughter continues to struggle with the move and our youngest son continues to be the most adorable “let me see if I can climb on the stove while it’s on so my mom has a heart attack” 2 year old maniac ever.

The key to the Get Happy list is that we can put anything on it. Small or big. Even if it feels completely unattainable. The point is – we are putting it out there as an intention. We’re saying, this is important to us. This will happen. Some day. Because all of us waste a lot of hours of our lives on things that would never pop up on the Get Happy list.

Rick immediately rattled off a few things on his list… Get bikes for us so we can take family bike rides, go dancing and more family time on the weekends (instead of the “I’ll take this kid to a birthday party while you take these kids to the grocery store” kind of thing).

We are already in the process of getting bikes and we recently pulled out some dance moves  at a temple fundraiser. Apparently, you don’t have to be at Liv night club to bust a move.

At first, I couldn’t think of anything for my Get Happy list, beyond the obvious please put Friday Night Lights back on the air and my grand EuroRail pass idea. But then I finally came up with a few things…

A content and happy 10 year old daughter

Meeting and spending time with friends that are funny and real

More time in the late afternoon at the beach

Cleaning less, being still with my kids more.

Sweet Home Alabama 2 movie (because let’s face it – nothing says happiness like a Reese Witherspoon/Josh Lucas reunion movie)

I think there is a certain power in declaring what you need – what makes you content and fulfilled. It’s the first step in taking action toward a more authentic, happy self.

12 Responses to the get happy list

  • Paul says:

    With the size of your family Kelcey, you don’t have to buy passes, you can rent the Eurotrain much cheaper. Ha!

  • Jen says:

    I love a Get Happy list!!!!! I hope many things come true that are on it.
    I’m sorry to hear your move is more of an adjustment than you had hoped. I hope summer will help settle you in a little more.

  • Laurie says:

    Your posts make ME happy! Had to read this one to my husband before we take our walk this morning so we can start our own Get Happy list.

  • I love the idea of a Happy List! Sorry to hear your daughter is having a hard time adjusting. I totally get that – our daughter took a long time getting settled in her new school. It’s amazing how much one unhappy kid can affect the whole family.

    Hang in there! Hope to see more posts about your Happy List!

  • Abby Siegel says:

    Love it! What would be on my happy list is for my friends to give my business cards to the teenagers they meet in cities outside NYC so my dream of moving from here and having more out – of – state kids becomes a reality! Wink Wink!!!!

    Oh, and to see my friend Kelcey more often. Once a year is NOT enough! xxoo

  • Liz says:

    I love this idea and support it fully! In fact, if you can get FNL back on the air, I will fly to Florida and babysit the kids while you and Rick ride your new bikes to the beach.

  • Susan Kintner says:

    Fabulous. I love the happy list and the humor with which you describe your daily “challenges”. Intentions are so important and I am joining the chorus of Happy Listers. love, mom

  • Angi says:

    We’re real! And we live close by to you. And we relocated to S Fl from up north. We only have 3 kids aged 2 a 8, but we’d love to hang out sometime! I can completely appreciate the adjustment factor. I love the list idea and may copy it from you to distract me from my never ending to-do list and house that will never be unpacked!

    PS. Every time I drive by a billboard with Rick’s picture on it, I almost feel like, “I know that guy!”

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kelcey kintner