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Pardon our dust! (And, yay for changes!)

We’re doing a little spring cleaning here at The Happiest Home! Sarah’s been working hard behind the scenes to switch us to a new theme that will make it easier for you to navigate content and discover gems that have gotten buried over the years. We appreciate your patience while we roll out the new changes, and – whoops! – apologize if some older content somehow winds up in your inbox along the way. Want to stay up to date on what’s happening here amid all the changes? Fill out the box below and we’ll get in touch with you via email

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Looking for inspiration and real-life connection? Join me at the BEYOND Retreat next fall.

You know one of the biggest benefits of slowing down and doing less? When you step off of the merry-go-round of doing, doing, doing just because it seems like, well, the thing to do, you suddenly have all this “new” time and energy and brain space to pursue things that mean a lot to you. For years I’ve been dreaming of putting together an event bringing together awesome women in one place to dream, plan, recharge and get inspired. And now it’s time to make it happen. In October of 2015 I’ll be hosting a small but mighty group of women (is

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“Fun Parent” vs. “Boring Parent” – It’s Not Fair! But Is It True?

My husband made this lunch for my daughter last week. I know. I should have known it was coming when I caught him poring over Bento box tutorials on YouTube, watching a woman meticulously arrange smiley faces onto tiny rice-ball heads, then cap them off with pita-pocket hats. The very next day, Jon made a special trip to the grocery store for supplies. And that evening, he and Clara hovered over the kitchen island for a good half-hour creating The Lunch To End All Lunches.  Heart-shaped salami framed by heart-shaped cheese slices, people. A tiny little star cutout peanut-butter sandwich with honey and sprinkles

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Delegate Like Downton: A Strategy For Managing Home Helpers

Imagine this: it’s a Sunday afternoon. One child just got done shoveling the walk, and another is unloading the dishwasher. You, on the other hand, are reading a magazine, sipping a cup of tea and enjoying the calm of a neat (enough) kitchen…that you didn’t even have to tidy up yourself. Sound like a fantasy? It’s not! It’s actually how my Sunday afternoon played out…and it’s a pretty common scenario around here. It hasn’t always been this way. Earlier in marriage and motherhood, I was surrounded by mess and chaos, and bogged down by resentment. Why didn’t other family members recognize

At Home with Meagan

5 Must-Have Kitchen Tools

I’ve been wanting to do a regular video series, like, forEVER. But when I had kids home with me during the day, I found it was just too difficult to find quiet pockets of time to shoot and edit regularly. A five-minute video may not seem like it takes much time to do, but there’s a lot of set-up and production involved, even in the most “candid” vids.  Now that my days are my own, though, I’m finding that I’ve got the space and quiet to take on some of those things I’ve been wanting to do! So, here it

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Whimsical Girl’s Bedroom Ideas

We’re moving! In less than two weeks my family is relocating to Southern California and we couldn’t be more excited. Our new house is ready and waiting for us and I’m itching to get into it and start settling in. One of the biggest differences between our current house and the one we’re moving into is the flooring. We have carpet now – lots of it – and we’re moving into a house with all hardwood floors. And while the new floors are beautiful, it’s going to be awfully echo-y in there until we get some area rugs down. One problem:

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Gardening with Kids, The (Really) Easy Way

I’ve always wanted to think of myself as the kind of mom who grows herbs indoors using a DIY seed-starting kit, turning toilet-paper rolls or egg cartons into frugal mini-gardens which nurture her child’s green thumb, creativity and resourcefulness. In reality, I’m the kind of mom who intends, every year, to start seeds indoors eight weeks before the ground is warm, or start a windowsill herb garden, but always forgets to gather the supplies or set aside an afternoon for putting together a system. So this year, I decided to skip all the usual “Oh man, I can’t believe I

Merry, merry, very imperfect Christmas

It’s been a long, messy, noisy weekend.

I don’t have any pictures of the Christmas pageant at church last night. Due to a confluence of errors (I would say a “comedy of errors” but I’m not quite there yet) we were 10 minutes late for church, and the kids almost didn’t get to be in the pageant at all. Considering my 8 year-old, Will, was cast as “God” and had been practicing his lines all day, he was pretty distraught.

Yes, I lost my temper with my husband. Yes, I pouted in the car on the way, yes, I came close to wanting to yell “THAT’S IT! CHRISTMAS IS RUINED!”

But I didn’t. I held it together, I took some deep breaths, I marched into the church with my brood during the fourth hymn and burst into “Hark The Herald Angels” just as though I’d been there the whole time. Still ruffled in spirit, yes. But Christmas carols can overcome a multitude of irrational car flip-outs.

In the end it all worked out and the boys got to be in the play after all (though I was too mentally flustered to get photos by that point.)

After that we went out for pizza and came home to open our family Christmas Eve gift – a puzzle and gourmet popcorn – but I only got one photo…

…before the camera completely died. And we couldn’t find the battery charger.

Soon after, two of my boys, in their excitement to get to bed before Santa came, decided to save time by going to the bathroom at the same time. Streams crossed. There was significant urinary deflection and splashback. Owen’s brand-new Lego Star Wars PJ bottoms were a casualty. (also, the floors.)

Jon and I were up until midnight or so trying to get gifts assembled and stockings in place, working around a two-year-old girl who’d had a late nap in the car and absolutely refused to sleep. But we still managed to get to bed before it was too ridiculously late.

This morning we snapped just a few fuzzy Instagram photos (still haven’t found the camera battery.)

I can’t give a play-by-play of the gift opening. It was early and I was as mentally fuzzy as the photos.

 

But…

Maybe all I need is those few fuzzy photos to remember the real highlights of this very imperfectly wonderful Christmas weekend. Not every gift was a slam-dunk, but the kids were appreciative of what they got. Not every plan went off without a hitch, but in the end we came home happy to be all together.

And even if I don’t have a memory card packed with photos of the events, there are some things I know I’ll never quite forget. Like a couple of hours ago, when my six-year-old Owen clasped his arms my neck and assured me that this was “the best Cwistmas ever.”

I hope you have some similarly wonderful moments, etched on your heart if not on a hard drive. Merry imperfectly perfect Christmas.

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