Artifact Motherhood | An Essay on Happiness + One Summer Day {A Video}

There seems to be this big universal question going around the internet these days:


Well, here are my thoughts on the matter.  I'm no expert, keep in mind.  But I do feel like a generally happy person.

First, I've got to say that I don't believe that we are meant to be happy 100% of the time.  No way.  Having "opposition in all things" (2 Nephi 2:11) includes our feelings.  And if you suffer from an illness like depression or anxiety, feelings are a lot more complicated.  Anyway, that said, the sweet is so much sweeter after the sour!

Next, I believe that our thoughts create our feelings.  It's totally something I learned from listening to some Jody Moore podcasts and I think she is right on.  We are in charge of our own lives, so let's take control of what we can and conquer those dreams and goals!  Think positively; see the glass as half full.  And give other people the benefit of the doubt.  Being lenient and forgiving of others has silently given me permission to forgive myself of my own shortcomings. (Or at least that's what I've noticed about myself!)

Lastly, Happiness = Summer Time!  Duh!  The warm sunshine, the outdoor adventure, and family time are the perfect trifecta for making life extra good.

So back to the question: How can I feel happy?

Well, I believe true joy and contentment can be found in doing 3 things:

1. Having an eternal perspective and hope  This is a loaded bullet point.  It includes having faith in the Plan of Salvation; knowing I have worth because I am a daughter of God and believing that Christ atoned for the sins and fallacies of the world.  It means that I have faith that somehow, in someway or another, everything will be made okay, whether in this life or the next.

Having an eternal perspective also means I am able to prioritize what is really important. I mean, really important.  When all the hustle and bustle and distractions of life are stripped away, what are we left with?  My answer to that is always family, friends, and God.  I feel strongly that my purpose here on earth is to help those I can return to live with their Father in Heaven.  However, admittedly, I forget that a lot.  When I remember what really matters however, I can more easily let go of some stresses.

2. Gratitude  I think this quote by Melody Beattie says it well, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend."

3. Living in the moment

The first two are a work in progress for me, but the third comes most naturally.  And that is what this blog post is all about!

It was Labor Day weekend and I wanted to capture all of those things about summer that mean so much to me... in video form.  (A brand new challenge for me!)  From lazy mornings, to afternoons swimming at the pool, to sunsets in the backyard.  It all feels like heaven on earth!

This summer, I found true joy in fleeting moments during each of our summer traditions both big and small.  I think that joy came as I slowed down to be present with my children and to appreciate the details, like small hands and feet and too much honey on an English muffin just because Levi is independent.  Gratitude came as I sat in the backyard swing and simply noticed the birds singing in the trees, the warm golden light, and the warmth on my face.  Happiness came when I laughed with the boys as they laughed.  Contentment for the current phase of life I am in came as I noticed the boys' accomplishments like swimming across the pool or jumping off the high dive!  And of course, those sweet hugs and Conrad's sentiments of, "I make you happy, Mommy?" fill my heart to the brim.

Life can be so good.  I can't imagine how much life might change by next summer!  I am so glad I captured some of my favorite summer details of 2019 on one of the last days of summer this year.

Enjoy and thanks for watching!    

This is Artifact Motherhood; a collaboration of artists from around the world who have come together to share our stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Through our writings and visual records, we want to create memories that are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifacts we are leaving behind for our children and for generations to come. Please visit the next artist in our blog circle, Diana Hagues, and continue through all the artists until you get back to me!


  1. Man, those photos are stunning (as usual). I aspire to have even a fraction of your talent with light someday :) Lovely essay, and some great thoughts in this. Hope you're enjoying your fall!

  2. Beautiful! and a beautiful life too!


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