When All Else Fails…Laugh

I’ve wasted so much of my adult life NOT laughing.

I’ve spent plenty of time crying, plenty of time worrying and plenty of time being angry.

I’ve spent countless hours wondering why I don’t fit in. I’ve spent day after day regretting past mistakes. I’ve spent most of my years pretending that I’m okay with the “lot” I have been given and secretly wishing it all away.

And now, here I sit, only a few short years away from half a century, spending most of my time wondering what my purpose in this world still might be and being so very tired from all this overthinking.

I’m ready for a change.

I’m ready to find all the smiles I keep telling you to find. I’m ready to get rid of all the stuff in my life that isn’t truly me. I’m ready to live unapologetically, without concern of the thoughts of others and without fear of repercussions.

I’m ready to sit around the fire pit or around the dinner table or on the back porch, wherever it may be, sharing stories with friends and family, joking with each other, making fun of each other, singing whatever old song is on the radio and laughing –

– laughing so hard tears stream down our cheeks and snot shoots out of our noses,

– laughing so hard we can’t breathe,

– laughing so hard the troubles of this world disappear, our cares melt away and all that matters are those moments… those moments of laughter which are never wasted.

I’m so very ready to laugh.

Aren’t you?


Reason to SMILE #339 – Christmas Edition: THE MUSIC


Reason to SMILE #339 - Christmas Edition: The Music - Who doesn’t love Christmas music??? | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

All I Want for Christmas
Is to hear the Sleigh Bells Ring,
And smell the Chestnuts Roasting,
Cause these are My Favorite Things.

I want to Go A-Caroling
And pierce the Silent Night
With Jingle Bells a-clanging,
“Ding, Dong! Merrily on High!”

I Want to Deck the Halls
With The Holly and The Ivy
While Jolly Old St. Nicholas
Plays on the radio beside me.

Oh, and a White Christmas -
I really want that, too!
I also want my loved ones close
So Christmas won’t be Blue!
But most of all I want to hear
The music soft and low
Tell of the night – O Holy Night!-
Christ was born so long ago.
For Away in a Manger,
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks,
The Savior of the world was born –
He’s why our Jingle Bells Rock!

P.S. I love to sing Christmas music, too! If you click on the link below the picture, you’ll get to hear a very  special performance from a Christmas Eve service a few years ago. What makes it so special? Well, I was accompanied by my son on his guitar. Best Christmas present ever!


O Holy Night – KJ Smith & Corey Smith

Reason to SMILE #344 – Christmas Edition: The LIGHTS

There’s a house on my drive home from work that is decked with a huge display of Christmas lights. Glowing holiday characters and flashing trees fill the yard. And if you tune into a particular radio frequency, you can even hear Christmas music playing along with the blinking lights. This house is a bright and cheery beacon of Christmas spirit on an otherwise dark and quiet stretch of road.

The lights of Christmas are beautiful and whether it’s a simple string of white bulbs draped over the azalea bushes or a grandiose exhibit of colorful luminaries dancing wildly to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells”, you cannot deny the cheer these lights bring to a dark and dreary world. And for the few brief moments we are enjoying their brilliant display along a neighborhood street or basking in their soft glow around the family Christmas tree, we find a sense of comfort, peace and joy. We forget our worries and we find a SMILE.

Then we drive down the road or unplug the tree lights and the darkness surrounds us once again, stealing away our security and contentment.

Oh, but the respite we find while enjoying the lights of Christmas does not have to end when their gleam can no longer be seen. The darkness does not have to overrun our lives. For there is a Light that brings unwavering joy and everlasting peace. This Light reaches the darkest crevices of our lives, drives out the shadows of our hopelessness and despair and brings hope to a weary world, to a weary soul, to a weary you and to a weary me.

This True Light of Christmas is Jesus. He is the reason for our celebration, the reason for our joy. He is the reason we can SMILE in the midst of our darkest nights.

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:2-3a, 6 (NIV)

A tiny baby born in Bethlehem pierced the darkness of a dying world more than two thousand years ago. Though the shadow of death followed Him, the Light of the Son of God could not be extinguished, even on the cross.

That Light still shines brightly for all to see today. Though the shadows of darkness threaten to overtake us, we’ve no need to fear. The True Light of Christmas has conquered the darkness so you and I can have life – a life filled with hope, a life filled with peace, a life filled with joy!

When the SMILES Don’t Come

Some days I’m tired – tired of trying to make up for the past and all of its mistakes.

Some days I’m overwhelmed – overwhelmed by all that it takes to simply live, to simply survive.

Some days I’m sad – saddened by what I’ve thrown away, what I’ll never have.

Some days I’m weak – so weak that it’s all I can do to get out of bed.

Most days I’m ashamed –

ashamed that I don’t have it all together,

ashamed because I know I need to get it together,

ashamed because I don’t know how to pull it together.

As it turns out, I’m human.

Very human.

In this life, there are going to be seasons when the SMILES seem far away. There are going to be times when darkness seems to overcome, drowning out even the smallest ray of light. There are going to be moments that grab us so tightly that all of our hopes seem to fall lifeless in each crushing grip.

These times are merely seasons, moments that may stay awhile but that also leave just as quickly as they come.

Seasons change.

Seasons of doubt give way to seasons of hope.

Seasons of trouble transition into seasons of peace.

Seasons of despair and sadness are replaced with seasons of Joy.


We are promised that it comes with each new morning and if we look hard enough, I know we’ll see morning’s light peeking through!

There is Always a Reason to be Thankful

It’s Thanksgiving – one of my favorite days of the year!!

Thanksgiving Day is the day I get to gather with my Family, some I may not have seen for a while and others I see more frequently, and enjoy time eating, Sharing Stories, laughing, watching movies, playing games and even enduring the afternoon coma (after those two helpings of turkey kick in!).

Thanksgiving Day is a day to relax, even though it’s filled with a whole lot of work in the kitchen, and enjoy just being me – not someone who’s trying so hard to be a good employee, a good wife and a good mom, not someone who’s trying to show the world that she’s got it all together but me, messy, weird, flawed, tired little me.

Thanksgiving Day is the day I get to enjoy my Mom’s cooking with all the amazing items on the Menu like turkey, ham, dressing, squash casserole and sweet potato casserole. Oh, and don’t forget the Pumpkin Pie (the only thing in this world that should ever be pumpkin flavored!)

But this Thanksgiving Day is different.

Today, my family, has chosen to celebrate in our separate homes. We won’t gather together in a confined space out of respect for each other. Many of us work in the public every day and although we are careful, we wouldn’t want to put our family at risk – especially those who may be most susceptible to this nasty virus that is plaguing our world.

Today, I may cry a bit because, well, that’s who I am. All of my emotions tend to betray me by defiantly streaming down my cheeks.

Today, I won’t get to eat Mom’s cooking. I’ll heat up the pre-prepared meal I purchased from Cracker Barrel because everyone knows that I’m not a cook.

Today, I won’t get to celebrate like I want but…

Today, I will still be thankful –

Thankful for my family, for health and for safety.

Thankful for the jobs and provision that has allowed me to put food on the table.

Thankful for my friends who think of me and send me wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Thankful for each new day, each new opportunity to live and enjoy life.

Thankful for all the blessings I tend to take for granted – shelter, clothing, water, fresh air, sunshine, rain, transportation, financial security, and on and on and on the list goes. I am so very blessed!

Thankful for love, for friendship, for hope.

Yes, this Thanksgiving Day will definitely be different. And I am sure I will have to redirect my thoughts many times from “Woe is me” to “Boy, I’ve got it good”. But I know that no matter the circumstances, no matter the disappointments or troubles that come my way, there is always a reason to be Thankful and always a reason to SMILE!

Reason to SMILE #38 - Are you feeling like you don’t really matter? Then this SMILE is for you!! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Reason to SMILE #38

Reason to SMILE #38 - Are you feeling like you don’t really matter? Then this SMILE is for you!! | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

You are not a joke.

You are not a reject.

Your life is not a waste.

You are not an accident. 


For you were wonderfully made

by the God of all Creation. 


You have a purpose that is filled with hope.

You are precious in the Father’s eyes.

You are loved and wholly accepted.

You bring God joy for you are ALIVE


You are alive and you can SMILE today!

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. 🙂 

Reason to SMILE #174: Weddings

In honor of my Mom and Dad’s 59th wedding anniversary!

I’m so glad they said “I do!”

Reason to SMILE #174: Weddings - ‘Tis the Season! Well... if it weren’t for this whole pandemic thing. 😉

Blissful and elegant,

A charming delight,

Eagerly enters

The beauty in white.


Dapper and dashing,

A fear-strickened mess,

Anxiously awaits

The groom at his best.


Shiny and lighthearted,

A roomful of grins,

Respectfully dotes

Their fam’ly and friends.


The scene is a wonder

Where time has no end.

When two become one,

A new life begins.


But is it the picture

We place on the wall?

Is it as perfect

As our minds recall?


Last time I checked,

A wedding takes work.

One day of magic

Leaves Dad in the lurch.


And on that blessed day

Not one thing is right –

Not flowers, not cake,

Not dresses, not lights.


The Moms are both frantic;

Dads sink in defeat.

The flower girl’s mad

And stomping her feet.


The bridesmaids are fighting;

The groomsmen don’t care.

The bride’s feet are cold;

The groom is… nowhere!


So many emotions

In such a short time.

So many mishaps

To thwart groom and bride.


So what’s the big hubbub?

Why all of the fuss?

Is it all worth it

To turn me to us?


Despite all the chaos,

There’s one thing that’s true:

It’s worth any price

To hear said, “I do.”


“I do take my lover

To be by my side;

I promise to stay;

Our love will abide.


“I will fight to uphold

This most sacred vow

And when times are rough

We’ll make it somehow.”


And when your days married

Have turned into years,

You’ll look back and smile

– Perhaps shed some tears –


O’er all of the folly

On your special day

And thank God for blessing

Your life anyway!

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!