Choosing Joy: A Happy Day Challenge & A Weekend Synopsis

After a packed full weekend with nonstop action and nonstop kid contact, sitting here typing in complete silence leaves my ears ringing a bit. I’m back at home, at my desk, with my coffee mug after a whirlwind weekend with Becky and chicks.
After the weekend we just had we feel like we can flex our mom muscles and high five on a job well done…hauling five kids to the beach for the day then to Colonial Williamsburg the next is no small job. You better believe we high-fived…more than once.
Feeling the need for some Strahle time, a souped up field trip, and a weekend away I took the kids and headed to Richmond Saturday morning. We have so much fun with them.  Becky and I are always amazed at how well all the kids get on with each other. The beach, a field trip, fun times with friends are all beautiful things.
But let’s be honest, long car rides, sweating in 100 degree weather, rain, and sand where the sun don’t shine can get you down in a hurry.  Being the one that almost always sets the mood for the entire family is a hard position to be in, especially when there’s sand and 100* to contend with.

We do, you know…set the tone. Did you know that you and I as moms have that power to make it a good day or a bad one? It’s a crazy ridiculous amount of pressure, but it can also be a great challenge for us. It’s just a choice…it’s always a choice.

Do we choose joy?

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Do we choose a 6 hour car ride to grumble that it’s long and hot and sticky and cramped…or do we use the time to catch up with friends on the phone and hash some things over with God for a bit while the kids are occupied with movies?
Do we choose to laugh at ourselves in our hippy-mobile packed to the brim going on a day trip the the world’s largest sandbox?
Do we choose to OCD out about all that sand ending back up in your car at the end of the day?
Do we choose to let our little darling that snuck into your bed that is draping her leg across your body, cradling your face with her hand, and consequently sticking her thumb in your eye to dictate our wrong side or right side of the bed to wake up on?
Do we let our calendar, our to-do list, our commitments, or hobbies get in the way of blessing our families with joy?

We all make the wrong choice sometimes. It’s hard not to. But sometimes we need to realize that to see a thing in it’s most simplified state we need to boil it down. So let’s. Boiled down looks like this:
Choose joy or don’t.
The beach day on Sunday to Virginia Beach was as good as ever. God create the ultimate playground. All five kids immediately are hypnotized into a trance of contentment.  Monday we took them on another adventure to Colonial Williamsburg, which was so completely cool.
My kids saw George Washington and about flipped! Jack met his hero and was so nervous he could barely take a photo.  They were calling for volunteers to go fight for the freedom of America and Jack so wanted to go forward, but he wanted Noah to go with and that didn’t happen, so they both declined to fight. It was a historical dream…

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…until it clouded over and started to rain. One umbrella and 7 people is not the best equation. Again, you can choose to sing in the rain or not. It’s our choice, mamas.
photo stolen from Becky’s instagram @farmgirlpaints 🙂
This is our Happy Day Challenge, today and everyday: Choose Joy.
Choose it this week, share it with your readers, and  link up your post next week here. Same time, same place.
I’m going to have to choose joy a lot these next two days.  I have a very special guest coming. I have groceries to get and toilets to clean.  Kids don’t always care about our to-do list.

Happy Wednesday to you and yours, mamas 🙂


  1. oh ma word we were just there! Williamsburg and jamestown settlement the last twodays. So all your pics look familiar! We r heading to mt. Vernon today, then a bit of shopping fpr me before we head back home to ny later today. We have done and seen alot in VA but after being 9 hours south of home and many hrs traveling from place to place im ready to get back home. Home sweet home:-)

  2. Smiling from ear to ear Down here in Oz…

    I constantly strive to *choose joy*…

    We do have a huge role as mamma's to our babies- no matter how old they are…my big girl needs me as much as her littler brother and sister…

    To be conscious of that role everyday is nothing short of a blessing and a delight- even on the HARD to balance days…

    Love this post A …

    Melissa xx

    Miss Sew & So

  3. i loved this post! when we decide to do something (outing, event etc) i am constantly reminding my kids about having a happy and grateful heart for what we are doing. i have just recently figured out that our mood really does set the tone for our kids outlook on the day.

    the hard part for me is finding the motivation to DO something .. like a little trip that you've done. it's so much easier to choose something easy (around the house or in town) instead of doing something new and a little out of the way. it stresses me out and yet i realize that my kids would love it.
    i really need to be better about that.

  4. That looks like an mega fun get away. I love the picture of sophia behind the colonial men…so cute! I am a big believer in choosing your temperament. It's hard sometimes, but well worth it:)

  5. i choose it girl. i'm high fiving you from 6 hours away. time to get out of the jammies and make it count:) love all those pics. the star struck homeschoolers…just made me giggle!!

  6. i'm totally smitten with the picture of Jack and Sophia near George.
    that is the cutest little scene ever.
    and of course i love all the others, too. 🙂

    and you are so right.
    we mamas set the tone big time in our homes…i am SO convicted about that SO often.
    sadly i don't choose joy enough, but i can change that!!!
    thanks for the reminder.

  7. I wholeheartedly agree. Whenever my kids get down and frustrated, they are used to hearing me say, 'Change your attitude, it'll change your life.' Of course they hate this, but maybe someday when they are adults, they'll see what I mean. To choose joy is to choose to be happy! Thank you for reminding ME of that today.

  8. Ahhhh . . . choose joy . . . that shall be my mantra. EVERY. DAY. I think we should make necklaces that say that, don't you think?
    And don't worry about the toilets . . . your guest will feel much more at home if you left the mess! 🙂
    Looks like you rock star mommas had a blast! Loved all the pics of your kids mesmerized by the history they've been learning about up close and personal. WOW!
    Love you friend!!

  9. Sweet and true
    thoughts, Alicia!
    I enjoyed peeks
    of your trip all
    along the way,
    via Instagram.
    Choose Joy is
    a mantra that I
    am constantly
    saying in my
    head….and it
    works! {Most
    of the time!}

    Happy Wednesday,
    xo Suzanne

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