Catching Happiness Is 10 Years Old!

November 08, 2019

 Ten years ago Monday I pressed Publish on my very first blog post.

Since then, a post has gone live on Catching Happiness 1,095 times, including today. That’s a lot of words!

Over the course of that 10 years, I redesigned the blog’s appearance (see image below), and started a newsletter. I read hundreds of books, lost animals and people I loved, welcomed a new puppy, burned through a laptop, watched my son grow up and leave home, restarted my career as a freelance writer and editor, and traveled to some amazing places. Basically I experienced what anyone of my generation experienced as they moved through this particular stage of life; I just chose to share a bit of it publicly.

Original Catching Happiness header

Little old Scout

I’ve also shared information on positive psychology, the Danish practice of hygge (which seems to be everywhere now!), written many posts about books and reading (possibly my favorite simple pleasure), and even shared my love of a frosty shake known as a Black Cow. None of my posts ever “went viral,” and by far the most viewed post has been “Happiness A to Z—26 Things That Make Me Happy.” 

Baby Prudy

Baby Luna

What’s next?

I am so grateful for all your kind comments through the years. I’ve made many online friendships through Catching Happiness, and through reading other people’s blogs. It’s been a fantastic experience and I’ve met with nothing but kindness and friendship. Not everyone can say that of their online experiences.

But it’s time for things to change. What started out as a way for me to explore a more personal style of writing grew into a project that has consumed many of my hours. It’s been a labor of love and I don’t regret one minute of it, but as I’ve taken on more freelance work over the past two years I now have less time to spend on Catching Happiness. I don’t want to say goodbye…but I also feel like I’ve said just about all I have to say about simple pleasures and everyday adventures!

Tank and friend

Previously I’ve tried to stick to a twice-a-week schedule, except when taking a deliberate break from blogging, but I’m not going to hold myself to that going forward. I’ll only post when I feel like I have something special to share—when inspiration strikes. It may be once a week, or it may be less frequently. I’m not sure yet what my posting will ultimately look like. I’m also going to look into assembling a “Best of” compilation of my favorite posts, possibly for sale as an ebook.

Staying in touch

If you subscribe to posts (see the sign-up info on the right side of the page), you’ll always know when something new is published. You can also follow Catching Happiness on a feed reader like (basic version is free, and I have no affiliation with them). I’m planning to continue the Happy Little Thoughts newsletter for the rest of 2019, but I may discontinue it in 2020—I haven’t decided.  

If you want to stay in touch between posts, you can always connect with me through email or social media. Click here for more information about that. 

Thank you all for 10 years of friendship, growth, happiness, and, of course, simple pleasures and everyday adventures!


Seven Years and 813 Blog Posts Later...

November 11, 2016

Guess what? Today marks the 7th anniversary of Catching Happiness. That’s a lot of simple pleasures and everyday adventures!

Catching Happiness began as a place for me to explore a more personal form of writing than what I had been doing, writing articles for magazines and web sites. I hoped to sharpen my skills, and, ultimately, see if I had material for a book. As I got into it, I developed a way to look at life and a personal philosophy that I feel comfortable with and that, I think, is a positive addition to cyberspace and the world. Over these past seven years, I’ve also learned to notice more because I want to share things with you.

There have been highs and lows to write about, discoveries of happy little things, Field Trip Friday excursions, and many new online friends. The structure of posting has kept my writing muscles limbered up and ready to go. Now and then I’ve burned out and wondered whether I should shutter Catching Happiness and spend that time pursuing paying writing outlets, and every time I’ve decided not to—Catching Happiness is a labor of love and I’m just not ready to let it go. I just renewed the domain name for another year.

I want to thank each one of you who has taken the time to read my posts, even if you never or rarely comment. I’m grateful you take the time to visit. Your thoughtful comments and encouragement have meant a lot to me for the past seven years.

So as we go forward, I have this to ask you: What would you like to see more of? Less of? What are your favorite types of posts, and what could you live without? Do you have any suggestions or comments to share? I’d love to hear from you.

I believe I wouldn’t have learned as much and had as many adventures without Catching Happiness. I will always be grateful for it, and for you, the reader. Thank you for being a part of the past seven happy years!


Eleven Years Rich

February 18, 2015

Our first day together

Today is Tank’s 20th birthday! In just a week and a half, I will have owned him for 11 years—longer than anyone before me. He is truly “mine” and I am the richer for it.

We rode together yesterday, all by ourselves, while the wind shook the trees and rolled a blue beach ball around the jump field, while a neighbor helped our barn owner move some large items with a piece of heavy equipment. Any one of those situations would have been a recipe for spooking and running when I first got Tank. Yesterday, he didn’t even bat an eyelash. I guess we’ve both matured in the past 11 years.

This quote sums up for me the miracle of a relationship with a horse:

“Riding is a partnership. The horse lends you his strength, speed and grace, which are greater than yours. For your part, you give him your guidance, intelligence and understanding, which are greater than his. Together, you can achieve a richness that alone neither can.” –Lucy Rees, “The Horse’s Mind.”

A recent photo

Thank you, Tank, for 11 years of simple pleasures and everyday adventures. Your birthday “cake” is on its way!


What Comes After?

March 17, 2014

I recently celebrated another milestone anniversary: 10 years of having my horse, Tank. I find this as mind blowing as knowing I’ve been married for 26 years and that I have a (nearly) adult child.

When I was looking for a horse of my own, and even when I bought him, I was totally focused on the goal of finding a horse. I wasn’t thinking about all the years we had ahead of us, the time we would share getting to know each other, learning to work together. Just like when I was dating and falling in love, or preparing to become a mother—I didn’t think so much about what would happen once I reached that milestone or achieved that goal. The “after” was a blank space in my mind.

What do we do after we get what we want—after we achieve something we’ve longed for? What happens after we fall in love, lose 20 pounds, have a child, get that coveted job, even buy that horse?

Reality sets in. The goal we once desired with all of our hearts is in our hands, and often we find it’s not all romantic dinners under the stars, buying new clothes in a smaller size, cuddling a sleeping baby, kudos from the boss, or galloping like the wind. There’s manure to shovel, diapers to change, compromises to be made and maintenance of all kinds to be done. In many cases, “after” lasts longer than “before.” How can we make the most of what comes after we reach a milestone or major goal?

  1. Appreciate what we have. Stop and look at what we’ve just achieved or received. Take it in. Isn’t it wonderful that we have this thing we have longed for for so long? Bask in the feeling and say a little thank you to the universe. It’s very easy to get caught up in the details, both good and bad, adjust to the new reality, and forget the work and sacrifices it took to get what we wanted.
  1. Don’t make comparisons with others. Since I came to horses as an adult—and a none-too-athletic one—my skills have grown more slowly than the young girls I often ride with. If I compared myself to them, I’d become dissatisfied with my experience, when what I have is all I ever wanted. If I compare my marriage, my relationship with my son, or my career with others’, I can become discouraged that what I have isn’t as outwardly “good.” Every person has his or her own abilities, challenges, lucky (or unlucky) breaks, and so on. And what we see from the outside is rarely the whole story. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”
  1. Keep growing and learning. So we have this new thing/relationship. Now what? Is that the ultimate? How can we enhance and improve whatever-it-is? Growing and learning are what life’s all about. To return to my relationship with Tank, over the past 10 years I’ve spent most of my time learning, from the simple things (how to groom a horse or post a trot) to the more complex (how to “speak horse” or use tiny movements of my body to control where he goes and how fast).
If we appreciate what we have, don’t compare it with what others have, and keep learning so we can make it better, what comes after will better than we can even imagine.

What have you discovered about what comes after a big goal or milestone?

Since it's an anniversary, will there be (carrot) cake?

25th Anniversary

That's a Quarter of a Century

January 18, 2013

Yesterday I started my day with a workout, then cleaned our master bath and went grocery shopping. It sounds like an average Thursday—and it was, except for the fact that it was our 25th wedding anniversary.

My husband and I celebrated the day by exchanging cards and small gifts, then going to see Les Miserables, a movie we’ve looked forward to since we first saw the trailer months ago. Does that sound unromantic? I admit it’s not a trip to a bed-and-breakfast complete with champagne and chocolates, but we’ve done our fair share of that. After 25 years, we’ve learned that romance is wonderful but it’s not the only thing that keeps a marriage strong. Being honest about needs and wants, putting in the time and effort to keep a home running and income flowing, working together as well as playing together—these things, unromantic as they are, hold a marriage together over the course of a lifetime.  Romance is only the beginning. Marriage is acting loving when you’re not feeling that way, forgiving when you don’t think you can, and finding someone who is willing to do the same for you. Just like happiness is not just about “happy” events.

My husband and I have built a life, a family, a home together, and that’s worth celebrating in small and large ways. Yesterday we celebrated in small ways—with flowers and chocolates and a movie. Later this year, we’re planning a just-the-two-of-us trip (when we finally decide where we want to go) where we’ll have a little more time for romance. I’m looking forward to it.

So, so young...


And the Winner Is...

November 16, 2012

Cheryl! Your name was chosen at random from the entries for the anniversary giveaway. As soon as I have your mailing address, I’ll send your goodies to you.

Thanks again to you and to everyone who has visited and/or commented on the blog in the past three years!


Now We Are Three--Anniversary Giveaway!

November 11, 2012

Three years ago today I pressed the publish button for my very first post on this blog. Some of you have been along for the ride from the beginning, particularly my friend and partner in adventure, Laure Ferlita, who originally encouraged me to plunge into blogging. I can’t say how grateful I am that you’ve taken the time to read my meanderings and thoughtfully comment. You’ve been with me through hard times and happy times alike.  I feel like I’ve made real friends through this blog, even though I haven’t met most of you, and I want to say thank you.

So in honor of Catching Happiness’ three-year anniversary, I’m having my first “Happy Little Things” giveaway. I’ve collected a few things that make me happy to share with you. The giveaway consists of:

A small notebook (a duplicate of the one shown here). 

My favorite pen (when words are flowing, you don’t want your pen to slow you down—this one glides over paper beautifully).

A fancy bookmark (not a forgotten treasure, but one I picked just for you).

Chocolate (requires no explanation).

And last but not least, a $25 gift card to, where I’ve spent many happy hours (and countless dollars) pursuing happiness.

Two of the prizes
If you’d like to be registered for the giveaway, please leave a comment (only one entry per person, but you can comment as many times as you like!) in the comments section below by 5 p.m. Eastern Time Weds., Nov. 14. The winner, chosen at random, will be announced Friday, Nov. 16. You must be at least 18 and a legal resident of the United States to enter. No purchase necessary. Winner will be notified by email. If a potential winner cannot be contacted or the giveaway is returned as undeliverable, the potential winner forfeits his or her prize and another name will be chosen at random.

Thanks again for three years of simple pleasures and everyday adventures!



June 04, 2012

Spent the weekend on the beach with my wonderful husband celebrating our 24th anniversary (very belatedly—our actual anniversary is in January!). I’m a little sunburned, despite sunscreen and shade, but more relaxed than when we left. It was such a pleasure to be away from responsibility and to-do lists, to be with each other with only fun on the agenda. We walked on the beach, swam, did a lot of reading and poked around in some antiques stores and a flea market. I even did a little sketching:

Our room:

Sea grapes--I've never seen the grapes before!

Don't these look inviting?

It was a great way to start our summer. Hope your weekend was just as happy!



November 11, 2010

Today is a special day for me…know why? Today is the one-year anniversary of Catching Happiness, and coincidentally, this is my 100th post. I’ve had a blast getting this thing up and running, and I’ve also learned a few things in the past 12 months. Things like:
  • Take your camera everywhere. It’s much easier to take tons of pictures and doctor them up in Picasa than to search high and low on free stock photo sites for an appropriate photo for a blog post. It’s also more fun.
  • Don’t simultaneously make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch and attempt to take photos for the blog. Your first clue that you’ve forgotten the sandwiches will be the smell of burning bread.
  • Slow down and pay attention to what’s around you. The butterfly sipping from the red penta in the front yard is beautiful just for itself, but it may also make you think of something to write for the blog.
No butterfly, but if you look closely, there's a bee here.
  • Don’t expect every little thing you observe to be of interest to blog readers. I have half a dozen infant blog posts on my computer that I began in my enthusiasm, and soon realized no one but my mother would care about this particular observation—and maybe not even her.
  • Sometimes the best posts just “come to you.” The ones you labor over to get just right don’t always resonate with the readers the way the ones that appear nearly finished in your brain do.
  • When in doubt, post a picture of a cute animal.
You're welcome.
  • Residents of the blogosphere are, in general, friendly and funny folks. It’s a rare day that I don’t read a blog post or a comment that teaches me something, entertains me or just simply makes me happy.
Thank you for a great year!