10 Things I Loved in April 2013

At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month.  What went well?  What did I learn?  What brought me a simple joy?  These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things.  I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month.  And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me.  Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.

Things I/ We Did

1.  A meaningful and fun spring break.  My goal for spring break was to just be with Happy and whatever happened to get done off my to do list was a bonus.  Everyday, we had one special thing to look forward to doing together (seeing a movie, getting ice cream, a play date with a friend, going out to lunch, a trip to the library etc.) and it was fun for both of us to wake up and say, “today is the day we get to…”  I didn’t get much work done which made the rest of the month a bit wild work-wise, but I wouldn’t trade that very fun, sweet week we had together.

2.  A Carolina Pad focus group.  I LOVE school supplies.  Love them.  And so when a local stationary and supply company, Carolina Pad, (their products are sold in the US, Canada, and Mexico) called and asked if the Circle de Luz girls would like to come do a focus group with them on an upcoming line, I couldn’t resist.  Their designs were gorgeous and they gave us an incredible swag bag for sharing our opinions, but the very best thing was how generous each of the women was with sharing her personal education and career trajectory for the girls.  It really illustrated to our girls the importance of internships, that your major doesn’t HAVE to lock you into one career for life, and introduced them to careers they never even knew existed.  Moreover, it was really special to the girls that this company valued THEIR opinion.  It was a wonderful morning!     

3.  Happy getting pink.  You know how some kids are really motivated by behavior systems and charts and others aren’t?  Well, our kid is the one at school who is REALLY motivated by that chart.  At Happy’s preschool, every kid starts the morning on green which means they are Ready to Learn.  They can stay on green all day or move up or down based on their actions.  If you move down, you hit Yellow which is Think About It, Orange which is Teacher’s Choice (of consequence) or Red which is Parents Involved (things really have to go south for red).  If you move up, you hit Blue which is Good Day, Purple which is Great Day and Pink which is Outstanding.  In general, you have to do something fairly exceptional to move up or down, and my joke all year has been that you have to perform a tracheotomy with a ballpoint pen in order to get pink.  But, boy, has Happy wanted to get pink.  Every morning, on the way to school, he says, “Today is the day that I get pink!”  But usually he comes home with green, blue, and sometimes purple which we make a big deal about and appreciate and just silently, on the inside, think, “oh, we hope he gets pink one day so he can achieve his goal.”  And then, a couple weeks ago,  Happy came racing into the house like he was nearing a finish line with his behavior chart in his hand and HE GOT PINK.  He was thrilled.  And then we found out that the reason he got pink was because when one of his classmates was crying, Happy went over to him, sat down beside him, put his arm around him, and comforted him enough that he stopped crying.  So I started crying, you know.  And then we celebrated with a dinner out at the local been around since the 1950s soda shop and had a milkshake for dessert (all Happy’s choice).  Now, we’re back on the quest for the elusive second pink.

4.  Incredible Passion. Purpose. Plunge retreats.  I facilitated a couple PPP retreats this month, and they were just incredible.  Both clients are working on really interesting projects while transitioning or tweaking their professional lives, and it was an honor to dive in and help them consider all the possibilities, prioritize execution, create systems to achieve their goals, and write action plans that will work for them.  I always get a contact high from these retreats.  Interested in one?  Prices go up tomorrow so be in touch with me immediately to get started and to lock in at the current price.

5.  Unbridled Authenticity.  Unbridled Authenticity involves equine facilitated learning with the gorgeous and sweet herd out at Triple Play Farm.  I love this series of workshops and April’s proved to be especially insightful and fun for us and our participants.

6.  Good meals.  Charlotte has some great restaurants, but I don’t get into the city much, and when I do, I typically go for old reliable restaurants.  But one of my birthday list goals this year is to try 6 new to me Charlotte restaurants so I really got started on that goal this month.  I tried Vivace, The Peculiar Rabbit, and The Liberty and I would go back to each of them.  Are you in the Charlotte area?  What restaurants do you recommend?

7.  Seeing 42.  BF and I got a movie in one Sunday afternoon and we opted for 42.  It was great.  One of the things I especially enjoyed was seeing the Robinsons’ love story.

8.  State of the Circle.  One of our incredible annual events for Circle de Luz is State of the Circle.  Here, we gather our hijas (the girls who participate in our program), their families, our mijas (our donors and volunteers) and friends of Circle de Luz (those who support us in various ways) to reflect upon and celebrate the year.  It is always a really special evening and this year was no exception.  First of all, we celebrated Circle de Luz’s 5th birthday which seems incredible.  We have put in so much hard work over the past five years and really grown a program that we are so proud of– because we get to have a part in these incredible girls’ and their families’ journeys.  What an honor!  But more than just looking back at five incredible years, it was so nice to be in the moment with our girls and  to hear what Circle has meant to them.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place, and we all went home with the best kind of feel good boost.

9.  Run Big Dream Big IV   Another incredible annual event is Run Big Dream Big.  Every spring, the Circle de Luz hijas train for a 5k with the help of interested mijas and volunteers (this year, we were sponsored and joined by the Junior League of Charlotte).  The adults running also use it as an opportunity to raise funds for Circle de Luz.  We raised over $5,000 with this year’s efforts, had a ball, and we all felt triumphant.  It was an incredible morning.  Special thanks to the Junior League of Charlotte, Run for Your Life, and Karina Dresses for making it possible.

On the Bookshelf

10.  Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead    This book takes place over a wedding weekend in Maine as everyone from the bride’s parents to the bride’s sister works through some issues.

What did you love in April?  What’s on your list of simple or not so simple pleasures?

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11 responses to “10 Things I Loved in April 2013”

  1. Kip DeForest

    I love, love, love the story about Happy’s big news! That is one neat kid you have there! I know you were tickled pink!

  2. Michelle

    This post has inspired me! Time to schedule May fun. Next time you’re in Charlotte, try Good Food on Montford. And Wolfgang
    Puck’s new place. Great date atmospheres.

  3. Joanna

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this. Some of the things you enjoyed were so simple, and it’s awesome that you take just a little time to remember them. The quick happy moments sometimes get lost in the chaos. I want to start revisiting these things each month, so thanks for the inspiration! And the part about Happy getting Pink made me cry. Seriously. Great job, Happy!

  4. Andi

    Thrilled for Happy! May he always keep a soft spot for others and for making what starts out as a great day better!

    I’m in CLT-try Soho Bistro in Uptown. Chinese food done right, amazing service and they will tweak any recipe for you. Yum! Also try Heist Brewery- Interesting Gourmet Bar food with such unusual flair in Noda.

  5. Claire Asbury

    Fran’s Filling Station off Park Road in Charlotte is delicious!

    Love your April stories, and so happy for Happy. 🙂

    Inspired by you (as usual), my April list is below. 🙂 Hope to see y’all soon!

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