A weekly dose of smile

Watching my daughter write the letters in her short name. (I-Z-Z-Y. And seeing her get excited about spotting a “z” in another name.)

Hearing my son give kisses and say “bye-bye” to everything from daddy to the bath water to the pumpkins on the porch.

My husband shooing me out of the house at 6 a.m. to go work out.

Hope.

Friends. Especially when I discover “kindred spirits,” as Anne of Green Gables would say.

Hobby Lobby, even if I don’t buy anything.

“Mom, you’re the best mom.” (Said to me after I made shaped pancakes for breakfast. Apparently the qualifications for this “award” are low.)

Mommy-daughter date. (We saw “Lion King 3D.” A bonus smile: singing all the songs and Isabelle dancing to them.)

Writer’s group — learning from other writers, being with other writers, seeing my own writing with fresh eyes.

Thursday night NBC comedy, especially “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office,” my two current favorite shows on TV.

The Bartelt bobsled team. (Isabelle pulls the wagon. Corban pushes. And they run down the block. It always makes me think of bobsled. And I giggle.)

Ditto for the Bartelt gymnastics squad, acrobat act, dance team and soccer team.

If you catch yourself smiling this week, make a note of it, even if it’s only a mental note. Then pick a time later in the week to reflect on those moments. See if your spirits don’t lift a little. If the world doesn’t look a little brighter. We all know how dark and bleak life can be at times and is at times.

Add a few extra smiles to your week. And pass them on.

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