Happiness Journal – March 11-31

Like I mentioned previously, I did a Happiness Journal again as a part of my second Yearly Bucket List. I love how this practice really reminds me to seek out and recognize the little things that bring me joy each day. I’ve recapped the first part of the month here – and now it’s time for the rest of the list.

  • 11th – Surprise stop for donut holes with Peanut on our way to school in the morning & a trip to the arboretum with the family after work

Nacogdoches photographer image with her two girls, Pumpkin & Peanut

  • 12th – Building a fort with Peanut
  • 13th – Going to church as a family & Peanut throwing pennies into the fountain afterward
  • 14th – Gorgeous weather during my morning photoshoot
  • 15th – Hanging out on the patio in the pretty weather at mom & dad’s watching Peanut give Pops his birthday present
  • 16th – celebrating our 3rd anniversary at Kings Harbor
  • 17th – going to the rodeo with the family & seeing Peanut’s ear-to-ear grin as she rode a pony (named Pumpkin!) (Thanks, Max, for the adorable photo!)


  • 18th – Holding Peanut’s hand the whole 25-30 min ride home from the rehearsal dinner
  • 19th- Corey & Crystal’s wedding
  • 20th – Getting to take CJ & Emily’s maternity photos
  • 21st – Reading a good book – The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • 22nd – Taking a walk as a family after work in the pretty weather
  • 23rd – Getting the most adorable letters in the mail at work from elementary school students in Indiana & Nebraska researching SFA
  • 24th – Taking time to just relax & hang out with Max
  • 25th- Family morning dance party in the kitchen
  • 26th – Hanging out with Tiffany & Chris & watching their kids play with Peanut & Pumpkin
  • 27th -Picking wildflowers with Peanut & enjoying my Route 44 Sonic Diet Coke after giving up soda for lent


  • 28th – A quick run through the SFA Arboretum & enjoying the weather
  • 29th – Movie night with Max
  • 30th – Finding out the OS team work the Outstanding Educational Session award from the NODA conference evaluations
  • 31st – Peanut snuggling in & laying her head in my lap as I sat on the end of her bed when she woke up & then giving me a huge hug saying “I love you, Mom” when I went to get her off of the counter after doing her hair


Happiness Journal – March 1-10

I am keeping another Happiness Journal during the month of March as a part of my Yearly Bucket List for this year. It is such a great reminder to be intentional about happiness – whether that is planning for things that you know will make you happy, or consciously recognizing the little things throughout the day that bring you joy.

So here’s the first third of the month’s entries:

  • 1st – Kolaches for breakfast from Dad (yes – food makes me happy haha)
  • 2nd – Date night with Max. We tried a new place in town, Zouki’s, and it was great to have some alone time and eat some great food.
  • 3rd – Yoga during my lunch break



  • 4th – Canton trip with mom & Pumpkin. This is something that was on my bucket list for this year as well, and it was just perfect! The weather was great, it wasn’t too crowded, Pumpkin did sooooo good, and we got some cute things!

Nacogdoches photographer image of my mom and daughter shopping in Canton


  • 5th – Sitting in the sunshine reading a magazine
  • 6th – Getting Pumpkin to giggle. There’s nothing quite like the sound of baby giggles.
  • 7th – Peanut helped me give Pumpkin a bath, and it was just too cute. She took it so seriously and I could tell she loved getting to help out as the big sister!
  • 8th – Mom texted me this picture of Pumpkin, and it brought the biggest smile to my face!



  • 9th – Peanut singing “If all the raindrops” with me in the car on the way to school as the rain poured down
  • 10th – Seeing some sunshine & a little blue sky on the way back to the office from yoga at lunch. A nice little break from the gray & rain!

The Yearly Bucket List – Year 1 Recap

Nacogdoches photographer's yearly bucket list project

Well a year has come and gone, and another birthday is here! I didn’t cross every item off the list (missed it by 3 1/2), but I’m happy with how the first round of this personal project turned out! Some of the items that didn’t get done will probably make an appearance on future Yearly Bucket Lists. Before I move into the next list though, I want to take a second to look back on the moments this list has created this year…

  • Go camping.
  • Write & mail hand-written “love letters” to important people in my life. Done – July
  • Read at least 4 books – two recommended to me by loved ones, at least one non-fiction, and one just for fun. Done


Nacogdoches photographer hosts wine tasting party and completes an item on her Yearly Bucket List


  • Print more of my photography for our house. Done – July 24th
  • Have a picnic. (This should have been a simple one to cross off the list, but waiting until it’s 1,000 degrees outside wasn’t a good idea… this will definitely make it’s appearance on a later list, I’m sure!)
  • Go on a weekend getaway with Max. Done – December 20th-21st

Nacogdoches photographer celebrating her birthday in Houston, Tx

Nacogdoches photographer celebrating her birthday in Houston, Tx

  • Run two 5k races. (I apparently should have gotten on this one early in the year because pregnancy symptoms sure did make sure I wasn’t running much!)
  • Try a sewing project (something other than pillows or burp cloths). Done x 2 (4th of July dress for Peanut & curtains for her play kitchen)

Nacogdoches photographer photos of dress on toddler, completing an item on yearly bucket list

  • Plant hydrangeas in our yard. (This one was kind of done – we planted lots of plants and plenty of flowers, but the flower bed that the hydrangeas will go in needs a major overhaul, so we didn’t get hydrangeas in this year.) 
  • Re-finish or re-purpose a flea market or antique mall find. Done – July 22nd (I’ll share some photos of this project soon!)
  • Give gifts to 2 or 3 people, “just because.” Done x3
  • Go to a museum. Done – USS Lexington, March 18th 


Nacogdoches photographer self portrait maternity shot for yearly bucket list

  • Keep a happiness journal everyday for at least a month. Done – October (Journal updates hereherehere and here)




While it was fun to cross things off the list and all, I truly enjoyed this because of it’s ability to make me remember to enjoy little things. To take time to play. Take time to be appreciative. Take time with the people I love. Take time to challenge myself to step out of my normal day-to-day and try something new. Take time to really live life. It’s helped me to remember to focus on my word of the year – balance.

What have been your favorite bucket list items? What has been a way you’ve made time for living life?