Unmask the SMILES!

Unmask the SMILES! - Do you miss seeing SMILES on people’s faces? Well, masks may not be the problem. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

To wear a mask or not to wear a mask. That is the question.

And that is an ongoing debate that I choose not to join.

Whether we choose to wear a mask or not, masks have become a part of our daily lives. Some don’t have a choice in the matter – their “powers that be” have mandated wearing masks in public. Some wear masks because they are protecting loved ones who are at risk. Some wear them in consideration of the fears of others. And most of us mask up out of necessity when we really need a gallon of milk and the store requires a mask for entry!

After all these months enduring this pandemic, I still find it strange seeing all the masked faces. It’s even a little unsettling when you work at a bank where the rule of thumb is: if a person enters the bank in a mask, duck under your desk quickly and call 911. You’re about to get robbed! I’d love to tell you that I’m getting used to this whole mask wearing thing.

But I’m not.

Recently, a Facebook friend posted that what he misses the most in this new mask-wearing world is seeing SMILES on people’s faces. And it made me realize, well, it actually reinforced what I have always believed to be true about a SMILE – there is nothing on earth quite as powerful!

But it does seem our SMILES are disappearing behind the masks. The truth of the matter is the SMILES are disappearing, period. And it’s not just the coverings on our faces that mask the SMILES. So many things in life steal our joy and ultimately our SMLES. Fears, financial struggles, sickness, loss, disappointments, fatigue, stress, toxic relationships, divorce, and so many other “germs” in life strip us of our hope and happiness. 

So, what can we do to keep the SMILES from disappearing? How do we keep our SMILES visible in this new mask-wearing world? How do we stir up the joy inside of each other? How do we prove that nothing can stop the power of a SMILE?

We keep smiling – even behind the masks.

We wave big or bump elbows when we see each other.

We speak encouraging words, kind words, hope-filled words.

We laugh with each other – big and loud and annoying laughs!!

We pray with one another and hold each other up when the SMILES are hard to find.

We spread SMILES – little joys, ordinary moments we often take for granted, simple feats we might otherwise ignore, silly thoughts and cheerful hopes.

We don’t spread germs – negativity, hatred, discouragement, angry comments, ugly words.

Well, my friends, I’ve decided to do my part in “unmasking” the SMILES. So, get ready. More of my daily – uhm, maybe every other day or possibly bi-weekly! 😉 – SMILES are coming your way. Some are new; some are old. Some are silly; some are serious. Some will come with commentary and some will stand on their own. But the SMILES are back and it is my hope that you will find one when you need it for yourself or to share with those around you.

I believe the power of a SMILE can’t be vanquished by the “masks” in this world. Though sorrows, fears and struggles may temporarily dampen it’s glow, the power of true joy comes deep down from your toes! And sometimes, that joy just needs a little boost to shine on through. 

I choose to give that joy a boost. I choose to spread SMILES – not germs.

How ‘bout you? What are you doing to spread SMILES? I’d love to hear your stories so I can SMILE right along with you. 🙂 


How to Spread SMILES – not germs! Idea #4: Shop Local

How to Spread SMILES - not germs! Idea #4: Shop Local | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com/

As you begin to venture out and brave the post-pandemic world (We’re getting there, I think!), don’t forget the little guy – the mom and pop shops, the corner deli, the farmers’ markets, the family-owned restaurants, the barber shops, the local service stations, and all the other small businesses that have laid the foundations of our communities. The owners of these establishments are fighting for their livelihoods, grasping tightly to their dreams and struggling just to survive.

They need our help.

Individually, we may not be able to do much but together, your little bit and my little bit can add up to a whole lot!

Shop local! And Spread SMILES-not germs! 😉

Reflections, Observations and Questions – What I’ve Learned from COVID-19

Reflections, Observations and Questions - What I’ve Learned from COVID-19 | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

The end of shelter-in-place mandates is drawing near. Soon, the restless natives will be released into the wild. I want to jump for joy but…

Is it time? Are we safe? Will things ever get back to “normal”? Do we even want things to get back to normal?

There’s a lot to consider.

And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing these last few weeks – considering the world’s issues, pondering over the colossal chaos caused by a microscopic virus, contemplating the historical significance of this period in time and examining the effects this pandemic has had on me personally.

It’s probably safe to say we’ve all been doing a little bit of soul searching of late. I don’t know how your reflection has been going but mine has led to several surprising (and some not so surprising) revelations. I like to call them my “Coronalations”.

Are you ready for this? 😉

Coronalation No. 1 – I touch my face entirely too much.


Coronalation No. 2 – I really do like the idea of social distancing.

Six feet away, folks. Don’t come any closer. Do not – I repeat – do NOT let my Smile deceive you. I will throw something at you! 😉 (Haha! Just kidding!… not really.)

Coronalation No. 3 – I was right!!

My child, who has always begged to be homeschooled, has, during his mandatory distance learning, done exactly what I thought he’d do if I had granted his request to be homeschooled – absolutely nothing.

He did pass all of his courses, though. Barely.

Coronalation No. 4 – No matter how much quarantine time you give me, I will never get the laundry done – or the sweeping, or the dusting, or the …

To be fair, though, I am an essential worker so I haven’t been confined to my home 24-7. But you’d think I could at least get something done on the weekends! (More blog posts, perhaps??)

Coronalation No. 5 – Even this introvert gets a little stir crazy sometimes.

We all need a change of scenery every now and then. But I’m a rule follower so I have stayed at home. In fact, I will continue to stay at home even though my governor has given the go ahead to mix and mingle (at a safe distance, of course – like that’s going to happen!). I choose to keep spreading SMILES – not germs.

Coronalation No. 6 – I take my hairstylist for granted.

I haven’t had a haircut since December. I actually missed an appointment in February because I overslept. And right about now, I’m pretty sure I could claim that cash reward Daddy Warbucks issued for finding Little Orphan Annie’s long lost Momma! Hands down. Ain’t nobody gonna question me when I say she’s mine! You think I’m kidding…

Coronalation No. 7 – Some of us humans are ridiculously stubborn.

It’s kinda entertaining watching grown folks stomp their feet, stick out their tongues and scream, “You’re not the boss of me!!”

But, c’mon. At some point, we have to remember that there are a lot of young folks watching how we handle ourselves during these times. What are we teaching them?

Now that’s something to think about…

Coronalation No. 8 – And most of us humans are easily swayed.

Yep. We will believe anything. ANYTHING.

Like the Bible says, “All we, like sheep…” Baaaaa!

Coronalation No. 9 – I’m not sure I like being “essential”.

First of all, I am not one of the heroes risking their lives everyday to care for those who are sick. I would never compare my work to anything that these amazing humans are doing for the world.

However, I am considered essential because 9 months ago, I made the move to the banking world. The thing is my workplace is in a virus hotspot and our doors have not closed – not even once. Our customers appreciate it but it truly has been a bit stressful to say the least.

And to be completely honest, I have re-evaluated my career move e-ver-y day!

Coronalation No. 10 – I’m not ready for the world to resume.

I’ve enjoyed slow-paced living – not having to worry about the kid getting to school in the morning, very little traffic on the streets, less sirens howling through the air.

My heart has been overwhelmed watching folks band together to feed hungry children who were left without daily meals when the schools closed their doors. I’ve loved seeing quarantined moms and seamstresses handcrafting heaps of protective masks for medical personnel, nursing home residents and anyone else who is in need.

I’ve basked in the stillness and the quiet. And even though the uncertainty of this situation has overwhelmed and overcome from time to time, my faith has grown stronger.

Still, all of this makes me wonder…

Why does it take a crisis to bring us together? Why does it take loss to help us appreciate all that we have? Why does it take a threat to our way of life to make us reach out to one another, support one another and show our gratitude for one another? Why does it take fear to drive us back to our Heavenly Father, back to the One who is always waiting with open arms, back to the Source of hope, salvation, strength and peace?


I think I’d like to keep the speed of this world a little slower, the noise just a bit quieter and the distractions a great deal smaller. Maybe then, we’d have time for each other. Maybe then, we’d be a little more forgiving. Maybe then, we’d remember all of the many blessings God has given us. Maybe then, we’d find a little more peace.



How to Spread SMILES - not germs! Idea #3: Suit Up - Do you feel like there’s nothing you can do to make a difference in the battle against COVID-19? Here's something all of us can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

How to Spread SMILES – not germs! Idea #3: Suit Up

How to Spread SMILES - not germs! Idea #3: Suit Up - Do you feel like there’s nothing you can do to make a difference in the battle against COVID-19? Here's something all of us can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

As The Healthcare Heroes are working tirelessly to defeat the villainous virus, COVID-19, the rest of the world is becoming restless.  

Frustrated residents of quarantined nations begin to emerge from their homes. Their shouts rise up piercing the tension in the air:


Traffic roars down once quiet streets.


Sirens howl as emergency vehicles rush to ever-increasing accident sites. 

Stores are overrun as shop owners desperately attempt to maintain social distancing among their customers. Food supplies once again begin to decrease.


An evil laugh captures the attention of a reckless world.

“See! You will never defeat me. I will win this battle!”

Worn, weary, battered, broken, our Healthcare Heroes hang their heads realizing they are alone in this fight.


Folks, we may not be on the frontlines but we are in the battle. Each of us has a responsibility to do whatever we can to stop the spread of COVID-19. What does that mean? Simple. Stay home, wash your hands often, don’t venture out unless it’s absolutely necessary and stay away from others.

When we do go out, we need to suit up for battle. We need to wear our protective masks. Remember, there’s still no vaccine for this nasty virus.

I know. The truth about these masks is they only keep the wearer from sharing germs with others. But if we’re all wearing them, everyone is protected. You see, no one truly knows what germs they may be carrying!

Don’t have a mask? Make one. There are DIY videos all over the place. Here’s one that I will be using to make my mask: Homemade Face Mask with Elastic – 10 Minutes (10 Minutes! Maybe it won’t turn out like one of my cooking fiascos!!)

I’ve even picked out my material.


(OK. It’s really all I have. I’ve raised boys and I know more about the Marvel universe than I ever imagined I would!)

After you make your mask, make a few to share with friends, nursing homes, church groups, whoever needs them. Or if you don’t sew, donate to someone who can or who is partnering with someone who can, like my friend here: Facemask Fundraiser for Senior Citizens

See, by suiting up with your mask or providing masks for others, you can SMILE knowing that you are doing your part in stopping the spread of this Villainous Virus.

Oh. How will we know you are SMILING under that mask?

Don’t worry. We’ll see it in those beautiful eyes. That’s the power of a SMILE!

Spread SMILES-not germs!



Why I Keep Sharing SMILES

Why I Keep Sharing SMILES - Finding hope in the midst of turmoil and chaos | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com/

To some, it may be silly. To others, pointless.

To some, it’s naive positivity. To others, a resented point of view.

To me, it’s a necessity and the SMILES will continue.

They must continue…

Since the onset of this COVID-19 craziness, I’ve experienced a myriad of emotions.

I’ve gone from fear of an unknown virus ravaging the world and destroying all I hold dear to anger over the decisions made by others, decisions that affect my safety and the safety of my family.

I’ve moved from sadness over the death of people that I know, that I’ve worshipped with, that I’ve worked with, to relief over my own suspicious symptoms being deemed non-virus related.

I’ve worried about family and friends, praying for the safety of those who remain healthy and for the healing of those who are fighting for their lives in isolation.

I’ve been grateful that my job is considered essential, that I can make a paycheck, pay my bills, buy groceries, while simultaneously feeling guilty that I’m still working when so many are not and are struggling to make ends meet.

I’ve been anxious, stressed and overwhelmed as I’ve navigated these uncertain times with a husband who has been dealing with major health issues, non-virus issues, but problems that seem to have no remedy, problems that keep arising and causing him to worry, stress and be overwhelmed.

I’ve found solace in Scripture and listening to worship music throughout the day only to have that consolation disappear as the lights turn out at night and the prayers begin…

Why, God? How much more of this can we take? How long, Lord?

I am emotionally exhausted.

There are times I want to give in to it all – to the fear, the anxiety, the stress. There are times when I can barely fight back the tears, those same tears that flow so freely as I’m writing this post. There are times I feel helpless believing there’s nothing I can do to make things any different.

But maybe I can.

Maybe, I can hang on to my faith. Maybe, I can trust that no matter what happens, all will be well. Maybe, I can share that hope with others.

So, guess what? I’m going to keep grasping for reasons to SMILE. I’m going to keep thinking of ideas that will spread those SMILES to others because I need to. I need to focus on the light, on the hope. I need to focus on the Source of that hope.

If I don’t, well…

My sanity, my emotional health, my faith, my hope – there’s just too much at stake.

How to Spread SMILES – not germs! Idea #2: Say “Thank You”

How to Spread SMILES - not germs! Idea #2: Say "Thank you" - Want to show your appreciation for the unsung heroes during this pandemic? Here are a few ideas for you! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic, it’s who truly is essential in our lives –

Doctors, nurses, medical technicians and staff, farmers, grocers, shelf stockers, delivery service drivers, truck drivers, gas station clerks, teachers, pharmacists, bankers, law enforcement.

And let’s not forget the cleaning crews, the food preparers, the maintenance teams, utility companies, and mail carriers!

These people are true heroes and each one has worked tirelessly and sacrificially to keep our world spinning, to give us a sense of security and to provide us with a little bit of normalcy in these crazy times.

Yep, we have some amazing people in this world and they definitely aren’t who we once thought they were. And right about now, I’m sure they need some encouragement. They need to know their efforts are appreciated. They need to know what a difference they are making. They could just use a few SMILES.

Cue you and me!

It’s time for the rest of us, those who are benefiting from the work of our world’s unsung heroes, to show our appreciation.

How? Here are a few ideas:

1. Donate to organizations that are providing meals for our tired heroes.

2. Be respectful to our grocers and store owners by doing your part to keep places clean – wear your gloves and masks, wipe down your cart after you use it.

3. Tip your food delivery drivers the best that you can. Imagine the stress and anxiety these drivers must be feeling delivering to all of us strangers!

4. Tell a teacher how grateful you are for their dedication to educating the next generation of world leaders.

5. Just say, “Thank you!” –  to everyone who helps you. Acknowledge what they do for you and share some words of encouragement. Sometimes, a simple “Thank you” is all that is necessary to bring a SMILE to someone’s face.

We have so much for which to be grateful! Express your appreciation today and continue the movement to

Spread SMILES – not germs!

How to Spread SMILES (not germs) Idea #1: Share a Good Word - Are you looking for a way to make a difference during this time of crisis? Here’s a great idea that anyone can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

How to Spread SMILES – not germs! Idea #1: Share a Good Word

How to Spread SMILES (not germs) Idea #1: Share a Good Word - Are you looking for a way to make a difference during this time of crisis? Here’s a great idea that anyone can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Ugh! I am so tired of my Facebook feed being filled with negativity. Death tolls, fake news, criticism, media-fueled panic and paranoia – there’s only so much a girl can take!

It’s as if social media has contracted the virus and needs to be placed in quarantine!

So, what’s the cure for what ails social media?

A big ol’ injection of Positivity!

The next time you’re on your favorite site, why not share a good word? Positive news, funny memes, inspirational songs and anything else that provokes a SMILE will do.

Better, yet. Why not share God’s Good Word? No other words can bring peace, comfort, joy, encouragement and SMILES like the promises of the Heavenly Father! And boy, do we ever need His Word right now.

Here are a few to help you get started:

How to Spread SMILES (not germs) Idea #1: Share a Good Word - Are you looking for a way to make a difference during this time of crisis? Here’s a great idea that anyone can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

How to Spread SMILES (not germs) Idea #1: Share a Good Word - Are you looking for a way to make a difference during this time of crisis? Here’s a great idea that anyone can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

How to Spread SMILES (not germs) Idea #1: Share a Good Word - Are you looking for a way to make a difference during this time of crisis? Here’s a great idea that anyone can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

And this next one is my favorite:

How to Spread SMILES (not germs) Idea #1: Share a Good Word - Are you looking for a way to make a difference during this time of crisis? Here’s a great idea that anyone can do! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

(I almost used an image of a cup of coffee in that one. My morning cup of coffee definitely contributes to my Joy!)

Now, go post those Good Words today.

Spread SMILES – not germs! 😉