Our Happiness Journal

I would sit on Anna’s bed as she put on her pajamas, brushed her teeth and performed her nightly dance routine around her room. “Number one,” I would say and then she would tell me the first of three things that made her happy that day. I would write/draw in the journal making sure to leave lots of room for her to color.

She never struggled to find things that made her happy, most nights it was hard to narrow it down to the top three. When she was done with her nightly routine she would crawl into bed with me, colored pencils in hand, and critique my drawings. We would sit and talk about life while she would color that nights page.

She wanted me close, I wanted to be close. She would put away her journal, scoot down in her bed under the covers and we would say a prayer. “I love you to the moon and back” I would whisper and then I would say it as loud as I could. Abigail would yell it back from her room where she was snuggled up with her dad. Another day was done, my girls were tucked in and their sweet dreams were about to begin.

Kindness Journal

I think about Anna’s journal a lot. I sit in her room and go through it remembering each moment that made her happy and the stories that were told as she was dictating to me what to write. My girl lived a very full and happy life and for that I am so grateful.

I’ve decided that Fridays I’m going to carry on our tradition by sharing three things that have made me happy the past week. As I sit and reflect each week on my new journey I want to make sure that I am remembering the little things that have brought a smile to my face. I found that through my grief sometimes those little things are what bring me back to the surface when I’m full of sorrow.

We lived a happy life and I have hope that happiness will continue. Anna and Abigail taught us well.

1. Love Rocks ~ So happy to see all the love that is being shared by so many!

2. Our theater family makes me very happy~ after months of a lot of hard work Guys and Dolls is fantastic. Can’t wait for the opening tonight.

3. Sitting in Anna’s room, looking out the window at the girls tree and watching Stanley and his 5 babies play.

18 thoughts on “Our Happiness Journal

  1. I read this post a couple of weeks ago and was so touched and thought what a wonderful tradition this was for you. I recently started one with my almost 5 year old son and it’s been his favorite thing to do every night before he goes to bed. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this and for helping us start a new tradition together.


    1. Thank you so much for sharing and I’m glad that a little piece of what Anna and I did together has found a place in your home. Our happiness journal is one of my most treasured items. I reflect back on it a lot. Take Care.


  2. When we watched you and Tom throughout the Annie rehearsals, I was so very impressed with how both of you interacted with the children in the play. It was so clear to me that both of you were very loving, caring, nurturing parents and help children
    to grow into loving, caring people. The more I read what you write, the more impressed I am. Your girls were gifts from God, but you and Tom are also gifts from God.


    1. Tami…your on a lot more than just this page. One day she said that happiness is when her mom goes to work and she gets to go to TAMI’S HOUSE…and asked if I could draw that really big.


  3. I’ve always known you are an amazing mom, but am learning each day how lucky your girls are to have you. How lucky we all are to have you. Your love and nurturing spirit are helping raise many of our children now as we learn from you.


  4. I sit with Ella every night and say a prayer now. She starts and I finish… This new tradition, which is a now a part of our day includes our loved ones here and in heaven. My mind always asks me how I can be the best dad and loving dad to my girls and I always think of you. That is the best way… I love you and thank you for all the examples you have set and continue to share!


  5. We’ve been writing in a family happiness journal since Jan. 1st. Your idea inspired me to write down the little things and big things that made us smile that day. Your wonderful idea has led us to revisit the good parts of our day and share even more stories with each other! Ending the day with positives is such a blessing. (I’ve shared your idea with both friends and family.)


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