What makes happiness?

A family date night…

We started off at a concert (free) put on by the city and featuring a girl group called the 5LP.

Since the front row turned out to be reserved for people with orange wrist bands (we thought it might be, since there were hardly any people sitting in it!!), we eventually moved to the grass. This put us behind five speakers. We’ve been on the grass before for the CRC concerts, and it is usually a great place to be; last night, the speakers were turned very much to high. The kiddos and I had fun dancing for awhile, but the fogey in me (she’s a wizened old thing of 302 years) started fretting about their eardrums. Bill and I are (or used to be, before the kiddos) avid concert goers and don’t usually mind loud concert noise—but the volume truly rivaled our experience with Journey a few years ago (and Journey is LOUD)! We asked Katie how she felt about leaving a bit early and getting some Golden Spoon frozen yogurt and playing at her favorite park—she was game!

Golden Spoon at the park

The important part was making memories and being all together. I credit my friend Noreen with getting us out on this date last night—and we were so GLAD we did! She reminded me about the concert (which I’d read about months ago but forgot to put on my calendar), and the kiddos loved going out spontaneously for an adventure together after dinner. My big FQ (fogey quotient) aside, we had a great time together in the late summer light. The 6:00-8:00 PM hours are a beautiful time to experience life in the summer.

What makes happiness? 

Father’s Day…

Katie and Eric were so excited to see their grandparents for our Father’s Day dinner on Sunday!



The two best men in my life…

Following our plan of cleanlier eating, I served roasted turkey sandwiches, baked kale chips, quinoa with golden raisins and pine nuts and Romano cheese, watermelon and for dessert something I made up. I normally make my dad peach pie for Father’s Day, but I wanted something healthier. In a nod to the pie, I layered 0% Greek yogurt mixed with some mascarpone cheese, diced peaches, a drizzle of honey, and a drizzle of 60% cacao. I added a couple of thin almond wafer cookies for a bit of an unusual (these days) treat. Oh my.

What makes happiness? 

Reunions with longtime friends…

On Saturday, my friend Linda threw a 30th birthday party for her son, my other friend Jeremy. We haven’t had a party at the “Mock Trial” house for over 14 years. Although Linda and I have been in touch, I loved seeing her and other friends whom I haven’t seen in person for awhile. I took Katie as my date, since Eric was sick with a cold. Katie had a great time! Linda is always so warm and comfortable a hostess. Truly lucky to have her as a friend in my life.

What makes happiness? 

Brother and Sister tea parties…

I made them some chamomile tea (we call it “Peter Rabbit tea”), put some milk in their pitcher, and a bit of sugar in their sugar bowl. They even got to have a couple of the leftover almond biscuits from Father’s Day. So sweet… they could play “tea party” all day long. The tea table is Katie’s…but that particular tea set and tea cart is Eric’s. He had some Christmas money and I let him choose anything—anything—he wanted with it. When he saw this tea cart (which was assembled as a model in the store) he was very clear that he wanted to buy it. He plays with it every day. I strongly believe children ought to be allowed to follow their interests. Sister loves it, too!

What makes happiness? 


I’ve been running every other day in the morning. I go 1.2 miles, and have seen my time drop from 13:30 to 13:05. I should probably dedicate a blog entry just to the trials of being a new (or would it be lapsed, since I used to run?) runner, but I am digging in and not giving up. Bill has been an awesome support, especially in helping watch Eric who was wakeful early this week with his cold. I normally try to get up and exercise every day before the kiddos wake up. On running days, I supplement my run with more biking. Exercise is happiness, even though sometimes it is difficult to get going!

What makes happiness? 

Mad Men.

I am late to the party here (so what else is new??), but I am streaming Season 1 and I love it completely. I want all of Betty Draper’s clothes.

Life is busy and full at the McGaugh house! Happy mid-June! Summer officially starts tomorrow!