tiny celebrations: a how-to guide

I finally finished my 'about' page a while ago. It's no longer a bunch of fragments and lists and little notes to myself "(replace picture) (say actual important things first, before rattling off random facts)", etc. And part of what I added to it was a bit about our family values. Prior to that I hadn't really named the factors that shape our days and the way we do family. So, I'll put the list here for those of you who may not have seen it :

we are big believers in the virtues of hospitality, simplicity, celebration, community, worship, creativity, and the ministry of tex mex.

Celebration is one of my very favorite ones on that list. (You know, right after tex mex.) I love an excuse to do something that feels festive. Just earlier this week I made Robin observe the ceremonial lighting of the first fall candle. As you would expect, he was moved to tears. So I've included for you here a few simple ways to add a little celebratory flair to your weekdays. And I'd encourage you to maybe take a little time to scribble down those things that are important values to you and your people if you haven't already. Those are all worth celebrating too. :)

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  • do something whimsical at the end of the day. I blow bubbles almost every evening. I started out doing it for Shep while he was in the tub, but he doesn't enjoy it as much as I do, so now I just do it for myself. You could also turn on the 'motown party' playlist on spotify and have a little dance party or make s'mores in the backyard. Buy a cheap karaoke machine and sing yellow submarine.
  • clap for the sunset. This is one of my very favorite Austin traditions. Every night at the Oasis right when the sun sinks down into Lake Austin, they ring a bell and everyone claps and cheers and toasts. It's just a great way of saying, in the words of Susie Davis, Yay, God!
  • make a special treat. This doesn't have to be elaborate. To make one of the easiest and most decadent treats (courtesy of my mom), take a few squares of verrrry dark chocolate, smear on a little cashew butter and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Yum!
  • eat dinner outside of your normal setting a la No Reservations. (Have you seen that movie? If not, celebrate by watching it. One of my very faves.) You could build a fort in the living room and eat pizza and play pickup sticks. You could also just light a few candles and move dinner to the back patio, or to a nearby park, or to the back of the pick up truck parked by the lake.
  • invite a friend over and try out a new recipe together. I have approximately 120 photos of the day my girl Valerie came over and we made Joy the Baker's Lavender Blackberry Scones. After a few hours we had yummy scones, a ton of pretty pictures, and another great memory together.
  • pretend it's your favorite season. I have already started watching Christmas movies. I have already made my signature hot chocolate. I already have chrysanthemums on the porch and pumpkin scented candles scattered around the apartment. Yes, live in the moment and seize the day and such. But if it was a particularly hard day and I don't really feel there was much to celebrate, I will unapologetically go straight to my late fall happy place.
  • celebrate someone else. This just feels happy for everyone. Take sunflowers over to your best friend's house or have tiff's treats delivered to your faraway friends. Drop a card in the mail that just says what you love about that person.
  • set and meet teensy, meaningful goals. Maybe you set a goal of encouraging someone every day, or of putting the phone away after you get home. Maybe you want to use a kinder tone, or try to do 20 crunches a night. It feels good to check some things off that don't take a lot of time or energy, and that can be good for yourself + those around you.
  • have a good old fashioned phone chat with your best friend. Because endorphins, and because there are still some things gifs can't communicate. Also, my friends are all just super funny, so I know that I'm guaranteed a good laugh.

I'd love to hear some of the simple ways you celebrate! And as always, thank you so much for reading.


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