My Happy Place.

I was joking with friends on the school playground that watching Des run is my happy place.

So much of my anxiety is in my mind, if not all of it, as my mom once told me. All of it – the grand scope of the thoughts and the symptoms and the worries – it is contained. It is contained in just one complicated place. And it can be stopped and healed within that same place. A lot of how I feel better has nothing to do with doing something physically. I don’t take any medications, although I will say that a good multivitamin can help. And plenty of sunshine, of course. Getting lots of sleep helps. However, when I’m not anxious I could eat ice cream for dinner on four hours of sleep and still feel high as a kite. So much of everything seems to depend on our minds. And making choices about what to do, what to say, and where to go.

happy place

I may spray herbal sprays in my mouth. I might snap a hair tie around my wrist just enough for it to hurt, and to direct any attention away from harsh emotions. I may blast music or pace the halls, or write a letter to my five-year-old self.

Sometimes it’s as simple as a happy thought. As in, Peter Pan. As in, “You can fly, you can fly, you can fly.”

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It’s standing straighter. It’s laughing harder. It’s loving more fiercely and hanging on more tightly.


It’s soaring higher, little by little, out of the nest and through the skies. It’s doing things that scare me.

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My happy place is ABSOLUTELY, absolutely filled with baby lambs. I mean.. come on. Baby lambs.

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It’s new friends, old friends, and those that come and go, and come and go, and always hold a special place.

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Did I mention baby pigs? I definitely meant to mention baby pigs.

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My happy place is achingly young and beautiful life.

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It’s support. A whole lot of strong support.

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My happy place is both together and alone.

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It’s under here, in between, and outside over there.

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My happy place is confiding that I have a problem.. or several. It’s speaking harsh truths to soft ears.

It’s freedom and wide, open spaces.

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It’s building and sustaining strong foundations.

My happy place is this.

My happy place is you.

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It’s words when feelings fail me, and photos when the words can’t come.

It’s time with family.

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And time roaming both new and old places.

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My happy place is momentum…

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…and taking breaks when necessary.

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It’s motherhood.

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And a whole lot of adventures, dreams & cookies.

My happy place is working on myself and choosing to uncover the dark truths hidden inside in order to breathe and soar more freely. My happy place is exploring and learning to live the life I want to live – free of many borders and limits and fears. My happy place is under construction, with detours, nooks & crannies and obstacle courses. It’s ok, though. There are warp zones too. There are temporary shortcuts and permanent foundations in place. My happy place is this blog and what’s beside it.

Who, What, Where, Where, When & How is your happy place?

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  1. Aww, absolutely love your happy place and admit that spending more time here with Kevin and my girls, as well as sharing with all on my blog is totally and utterly perfection to me, too! 🙂

    1. And even some time with the new iPhone! Right now I am alone, and that is a happy place, but I do miss the kids and I have to go to the dentist. Which seems wildly uncool! So I will think of my happy place when I’m in that chair.

  2. Aww! Des and Scarlett are just balls of light of happy places! Sometimes, our happy place is the only place we have left to go to. If all else fails, a ‘happy place’ is where I want to be!

    1. I remember my college friend telling me that as long as she can always find a place to feel safe, whether in her mind or physically, then she is always in her happy place. I tend to agree!

  3. Sounds like a perfect happy place. And I could eat your son up! Too cute! And this line gave me chills: “My happy place is working on myself and choosing to uncover the dark truths hidden inside in order to breathe and soar more freely.”

  4. Definitely must include macarons, Christmas morning, surprise boxes, running through pastures, and dreaming the dreams that remind us that we are forever.

  5. I think that’s a great statement: “My happy place is under construction.” It’s so honest and it’s really a positive thing to be doing. You know what? Our happy places change, too. It’s healthy to keep allowing it to change.

  6. All the kiddies in your post, both human and animal, are just adorable, such cuties!
    My happy place? Hmm, really, that’s a state of mind. One that I most always find when I am on the beach, at the ocean or on the ocean. Together with David, but also on my own. Happy times is also when I have my camera in hand and get totally carried away by taking photos of… the beauty, action, whatever around me and kind of forget ‘the around me’. Also, our weekend breakfast table – the time that we sit and eat together and – talk.

    1. I love the idea of the weekend breakfast table. I feel like we don’t have that one down. Although it does happen and when it does, it’s magnificent.

      1. We really love it. It is the one, well two, time(s) that we eat together at the table, without any distraction, but us. I guess it stuck with us as a part of our long weekend relationship that we started out with. But now it is the two meals during the week that David prepares and I do nothing 😉 (o.k. cleaning up afterward – LOL – but that’s worth it)

  7. Oh wow, everything about this just took my breath away…your words, the images, the baby animals. Oh my goodness, the baby animals! My happy place is with my family and friends; loud, boisterous dinners full of good conversation; being outside; on a quiet beach; watching Eve explore at the playground and see her grow right before my eyes; snuggling under the blankets; the quiet of the world before everyone wakes up.

  8. My happy place is on a beach, full sun:) But I have many happy places, mostly to do with being warm. Those baby animals are adorable!! I think life for all of us is an experience of constant change and evolution – this is a good thing, because we keep having new opportunities to develop our character, draw closer to God, and be empathetic with a hurting world.

  9. Oh your happy place is so lovely. My happy place, I found it this weekend. It’s watching my children run and smile and just breathing easy. Also, those swings are so fun!

    1. It’s funny how your breathing really can be easy or hard. It seems somewhat imperfect in the human body, but I think it might just make perfect sense.

  10. How could Des running NOT be your happy place? OMG there is nothing better!! Love all of this. My happy places: running, writing, seeing my boys first thing in the morning…and then all day long. I am blessed. xoxoxo

  11. “It’s words when feelings fail me, and photos when the words can’t come.” Even when the words don’t come, what you share always strikes a chord with me. I think…my happy place is being in the car during that time just before the sun sets with someone, anyone, I love. Bonus points if it’s a nice enough day to roll the windows down.

  12. I love the sentence about your happy place being under construction. I think it’s under construction for most of us because we all evolve and change. My happy place… as long as I have Frank and the kids I can create a happy place.

    1. I feel the same way about my family! It’s also such a happy thing for me to do nice things for other people. Speaking of which, I just bought Western Mass completely out of peanut butter cups! Slightly exaggerating.

      1. Just Western Mass? Did you even try to go to Eastern Mass? Northern Mass? Southern? You do realize that Western Mass is now going to have to go borrow from it’s neighbors because of you, and me, and Ana, and the kids… and I am not exagerating but having fun.

        1. I just need to take the train to Boston tomorrow, and then they will be completely out! Eventually, the entire state. I would’ve done a better job today, but I had a dentist appointment and houseguests.

  13. Your blog is one of my happy places. My son’s bed at 3:44am was one this morning. Because he needed me and that makes me happy. I am in love with that baby lamb by the way.

    1. That baby lamb was so new!
      I think Scarlet was up around the same time, but she was shouting that she thought she had wet the bed but it was a false alarm. Maybe she dreamed she wet the bed?

  14. Aw that baby lamb is so sweet. Having so many happy places, and people, and thoughts is such a good thing. It’s posts like this that can you bring you back when you are in those dark places. I love celebration of the good things. This post made me smile, a lot. That makes your blog one of my happy places today!

  15. I was not in a happy place when I realized that I couldn’t comment last night but I’m in my happy place once again. 🙂 You are definitely in your happy place on your blog and seeing the smiles on Des and Scarlet’s face whenever I visit surely puts me in a happy place as well. Madison had me watch that video of Des running about 7 times and each time she laughed because she found it sooo funny. Guess seeing Des in action is her happy place and hearing her laugh is mine since she does it so rarely. btw baby animals including piggies does it too, they’re too cute.

    1. But then we made it happy place again when I was able to get your comment through! And thank you for trying again. It means a lot. It also means a lot to know that my son made Madison laugh so much. He is endless laughter.

    1. Me too! Me too. I’m glad I have photography and writing to really look at them, long after they are asleep. Sometimes in the moment I can be stressed or anxious and I’m not always in my happy place during such beautiful moments.

    1. That’s why I love the spring! They’re just everywhere. There’ve been a lot of arguments for fall being my favorite season, but spring mean summer and then fall and baby animals.

  16. I love all the happiness that you have captured, the lambs are darling and so are the children being so carefree. Your story tells me that you are looking through a curtain and on the other side there is so much happiness, let yourself walk through the curtain and enjoy their world, be happy!!
    Karren @ Oh My Heartsie Girl

  17. What a gorgeous location. Your pictures make me happy! My Father used to say, “choose happiness everyday Jenny”. It’s funny. but some of my fondest memories are ones that came from tough situations. Like the time all of our children had the stomach flu and we found out as they threw up all at the same exact time. In the midst of this my husband and I looked at each other and started laughing. We could have cried, but laughing was a lot more fun. I’m not always good at choosing happiness, but I’m trying.

      1. Yup, right after they were all healthy the hubs and I got sick. Hard to find the happiness in moments like that though….

  18. Love it. My happy place is by the water. Usually the beach. I love the salty air against my face. It’s with my two boys and my furry boy too. It’s owning who I am and taking control of my life. So much to be happy about these days.

  19. Reading this put me in my happy place. I have many, because there are so many places and people and things that can make me happy. I just have to keep my eyes open and find them. Oh, and there are always cookies or chocolate there.

  20. Love this! SO beautifully written my love 🙂 My happy place is simple: my bed, my son, my bf and wherever they are; unless its Times Square – jeez that place is anxiety provoking for me, lol. That video of Des is just priceless – sounds like Amie when he was younger 🙂 Sounds of joy and happiness – that’s how happy he is with anything to do with water. Which reminds me – need to register him for swim school! WOOP! Have a great one Tamara and hope you’re in your happy place today 🙂 -Iva

    1. You are so funny. I have driven through Times Square at 8 PM on a Saturday night! I can’t imagine doing that now. I guess I got less brave with age. I don’t tend to like crowds because of the anxiety factor, although I don’t have a history of problems from it.

      1. So I see recently you’ve added the BlogHer ads bar – is it annoying to install? I just got approved and am still on the fence, lol. Thoughts? Ha, that’s what my son says – I’ll take that quality any day. Jeez driven at night, you’re a trooper – my father does NOT go into that area and he’s an NYC cab driver for 20 years now. Precisely – I don’t like the feeling these crowds induce, esp when I have my son I get all “stay close – hold my hand” – it’s just not cute. LoL.

        1. I do always think somebody’s going to grab my kids or my purse. I’ve had the ads for years! Maybe I installed them differently. I think it’s worth it ultimately because it’s a great organization. I love the campaigns and the support and being featured.

          1. Yeah I’m on there but in a very distant manner. OK I’ll take your word for its awesomeness and finish setting up 😛 Yes same here – I don’t care much about my purse, esp since its a crossbody I’ll punch you real quick – but my son oh heck no, He stays in front of me and I grab him like a bear the whole way through, I don’t play hahaha 🙂

  21. That baby sheep is so cute!
    My happy place is spending time with my family, finding yummy recipes that are good for me, blogging, the crisp cool fall air, and so much more.

  22. I love the baby pigs!!!
    My happy place is a combo of my early morning sweat sessions and my evenings with my family (much as I love the boys, the workouts are necessary to keep me calmer/nicer)!!!

  23. Oh those happy places. It’s lovely when we don’t have to look too hard to find them… when they surround us like a safe, warm hug.

    Your pictures are glorious from the beautiful smiles of your children, to the baby sheep and lamb! Awww!

    My happy place is often found in the smiles and hugs from my children but I also find it in yoga, a walk outdoors, and in the beauty of my surroundings.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. I have never tried yoga but I think it could be a very happy place for me. Sadly I don’t do a lot physically for my anxiety. I think that’s the missing key. I do a lot emotionally and writing and photography wise. And even counseling wise.

  24. ooohh, this was a good one friend! Love how happy your kidlets are! Scarlet is looking like such a big girl. My happy place is my home, in my chair with my fuzzy blanket and snuggling little bodies. I also like having quiet and a good book. But I am definitely a home body!

  25. My happy place is my blog too. It’s like having my own room. If I could just block out the the distractions when I enter my room all would be so wonderful. Otherwise outside of my room the walls aren’t as steady and I feel like I’m under construction.

    I would like to roll around in the grass where that red barn is though. Love that picture. How did Des like seeing a Lambie in person? Did I spell Lambie right?

    1. You absolutely spelled Lambie right! He totally freaked out that they exist in real life. He even had his toy one with him and have them officially meet.

      I totally get everything you said about the blog!

    1. Ha! Yes they are amazing. This one was very new. I can’t remember if it was one hour old or a day old. Something like that. You can even see them give birth at this place.

  26. I constantly need to remind myself that I can choose to go to my happy place whenever and wherever I am. I tend to think, “Today’s an anxious day and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ll have a better attitude tomorrow.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. I can make the choice right NOW.

    1. I really feel this. Last Friday it was a day like that and I let it overtake me. I let it win. There are times where I really do have the tools to turn it around. Every day is a chance for a new beginning, but so is every hour. Lately everything you say about anxiety really changes things for me.

  27. Your happy place sounds a little like Never Never land!! So poetic! My happy place is sitting back and watching my family members interact with each other, cook them a nice meal and just watch. Watching others is good for me. Oh and I want a baby pig!!

  28. This is so wonderful! My happy place is outdoors, with the sun shining and the breeze blowing. I love it when it’s warm or cold, just so long as I can go for a walk. A 6 foot path was recently cut around the perimeter of the church property where we live so the local cross country kids can practice on it, and it is making me SO HAPPY. Now if I can just wake up early enough to get out and run on it!

    1. Oh that is so awesome! Now that both kids are in some sort of school or daycare three days a week, I’m really going to devote a good hour or two a day to being outside and exercising. And yes, even in the winter through the snow!

  29. Um, baby anything…yes please! Loved this post, especially when you wrote about “confiding that I have a problem”. That’s where I am right now on this anxiety journey. Now I just have to figure out, day by day, how to deal with it (ideally without medication)! You always write what seems to be in my heart, & the pictures….outstanding.

    1. I am very with you there. Ideally without medication. I feel like I haven’t even tapped the surface about how much can be done without medication. And also medication is probably very wonderful for many people.

  30. Your happy place is pretty awesome. My happy place is anywhere where my kids are happy. blogging is also one but so is the rush of a really amazing runway show or behind the scenes of something major…..

  31. Hi Tamara, how beautiful your happy place is. A state of mind, a place, a person, an idea…it’s all of those things. Your photos are gorgeous! I love the video too, It brings back memories of when my kids were little and the happy sounds and sights at the playground. My happy place is anywhere on, in or near the ocean. 🙂

    1. Exactly! It’s so many things at once. I have to say, I had no idea I was writing this. I knew I was writing about happy places and sharing photos, but this took on a life of its own.
      I LOVE the ocean. It calms me like nothing else.

  32. I love your happy place! I can see what it makes you happy because I found myself smiling as I read this. My happy place often involves being alone and silence.

  33. Sometimes the hardest part is being able to pull yourself out of the darker places to appreciate the happy places. Thankfully it looks like you have a lot of happy places to appreciate. And those baby pics and lambs…oh my so cute!

  34. One of my happy places is my brain. Sounds weird? Or let’s just say my mind because my imagination can bring me anywhere. Sadly, it’s mostly just imagination. Some of it don’t make sense at all. But I have so many happy places aside from my imagination so I’m thankful. The setting of your photos, is it like a farm or something? It’s beautiful!

  35. wide open spaces. definitely a happy place of my own. In the woods. near the water. in my garden — anywhere Nature can whisper to me and drown out all the other brain noise that keeps me spinning.
    It’s that still, quiet place where I step outside my own head — let “self” slip away; and hold tight to a moment bigger than whatever I have brought.
    It’s that moment in a sunrise or a sunset where you are not quite sure if the day… or the night is coming – The Threshold to Something Unknown. but you just feel it’s gonna be amazing.
    It’s that other person, the one I found to journey with: the one who will just stand still for me. for 5 minutes – that’s all I need. just stand still with me. He’s my Mr Big 🙂

  36. Whoa!!! Baby lambs….baby pigs! I’ve always wanted a baby pig, maybe that’s my happy place! Those field running children playing photos are so beautiful. Laughter is my happy place

    1. I have a friend who has a baby pig. Apparently they are very smart and make good pets! Who knew? and obviously it’s not a baby anymore. It’s just a pet pig at this point.

    1. I know! And looking at the photos, I can see the skinniest one who can’t seem to find an open nipple even though I see an open nipple. This is the mother in me.

  37. 1. I thought at first glance that Cassidy brought home a baby lamb. I kind of wish he did.

    2. So many quotables in this, but this is my favorite: It’s words when feelings fail me, and photos when the words can’t come.

    3. Happy place? It’s my girls, my teams, and those who show up on the blog. It’s feeling like I don’t know how or why, but that everything feels all right. It’s where you can feel the breeze and the sun, and smell the cookies or the barbecue. It’s now, or soon, I hope. It’s where I can turn my heart, mind and soul to best absorb the good and stand tall against the bad.

    1. I think your third point reads as a sequel to this post. Only, I didn’t write it! I wish I had.

      A baby lamb. It’s true that you never know with him, so I’m going to definitely be peeking around the fields.

      1. But I hope you steal the third point, is the thing. Maybe Cassidy will read this and go for the lamb. He could be a halloween miracle and you can call him the lamb of God. Or he could be Athena’s pet and be called the lamb of Dog.

    1. That’s so awesome! And you may even have more appreciation than some of them do. Not that I can really generalize parenting, but I know that I’m not always immersed and present and happy when I could be. I am very often impatient and frustrated.

  38. My happy place is doggy snuggles, new and old music that inspires me to sing along, windows open to cool fall breezes, fantasy football with my boys, grilled cheese for dinner because I’m an adult (damnit!), true crime marathons on TV, text messages from my son, nights curled up next to my fiance, and writer friends who inspire me to write more, better, all the things.
    Today? My happy place is you and this list. Your gorgeous photos and your smiling kiddos.

  39. My Happy Place is seeing this blog post and seeing the pure joy on the children’s faces!!! Love this! And of course meeting great people like you! Oh and Mountains…Love me some mountains!

    1. I am so glad I finally tagged you to see. And I have to be honest, I didn’t even edit these photos until this week. That is how far behind I am with my personal photos. I wish I had more of Axel, but it’s amazing how much Kenzie shines in these photos. An added bonus that I didn’t even think about until you said it, was that you didn’t get to see this point of the day. So now you get to see what happened when you were tending to the bloody nose!

  40. My happy place is with my family, my blog….in reading my comments and interacting with you all….in reading scripture….in learning more about my lost heritage…..in the moments I have with friends…hmmm…in zoning out as I lay my hands on my belly while I feel my baby wiggle around and in crocheting!

  41. Baby lambs, I mean come on. Whose happy place doesn’t involve baby lambs??! Oh Tamara, I love this post and how the pictures and photos play together. It made me smile in my heart.

    1. Thank you! It’s a result of me being about 5 to 6 months behind on photos. So by the time I’m doing April photos, they fit with my happy place theme!

  42. Oh, you 🙂 “My happy place is under construction, with detours, nooks & crannies and obstacle courses.” GET OUTTA MY HEAD.

    Your happy place is a beautiful shelter — look at the moving scenery you have with you at all times. I love seeing the photos of your children running careless and free. Isn’t that what life is all about? We grow up and responsibility/life sets in…. but having children around reminds us of what’s truly important in life. You posted a video in another post about your son eagerly anticipating a piece of cake. What I wouldn’t give to feel THAT excited for something again, ya know? But how beautiful to have that reminder that you know, WHY NOT get lost in the moment and feel unabashedly excited for something as simple as a scoop of ice cream or a trip to the local park. There is beauty all around us and sometimes I, too, get lost in my head and feelings of anxiety.

    But life is pretty awesome and I needed this reminder today. And always.

    Also baby goats. And wee pigs. Those are pretty amazing to see, too. XOXO

    1. The video in the other post… of my son anticipating cake. I have to watch it daily. It’s just so endearing, and maybe a little heartbreaking that we don’t all get that way.
      I do get that way. Sometimes. Not often.
      I watch my kids a lot and they’re fearless and always expecting fun. I don’t know if I EVER felt that way. I hope so!
      Either way, these are my many happy places.

  43. Love! This was so beautiful and perfect, and then you added a little lamb and baby pigs. AMAZING! 🙂 Such a touching post, and watch out mama…that little boy of yours is going to slay the women with his stunning smile.

  44. I will have to say that my kids are my happy place too. When Butterfly gets up to dance to a song or they are all chasing each other around the house, I love watching them!

  45. My happy place is with my kids, with my husband (though not 100% of the time, hah!), and with my writing. That’s where it’s at. Your happy places look awesome.

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