Giveaway: Happiness grows where you plant it.

Friends, esteemed readers, and lurkers…I’m a pretty optimistic person. In fact, I’d say, I’m optimistic to a fault. I have so much optimism that burns so bright, that when I run out of optimism, I’m the biggest pessimist you’ll meet. True story.

Anyways, my optimism is at its best when I’m channeling it to help others. So, I’m offering a lesson. And the cool thing is, the swell lady named Natalie has provided a gorgeous giveaway goodie (say that five times fast) to go with this lesson. Or rather, her handmade goodie INSPIRED the lesson.

When I first saw this scarf, the first thing I thought was, “It’s knitted happiness.” When Natalie approached me about doing a giveaway, she quizzed me on what colors I think best “suit” me. I think we both agreed that pink was somehow involved, but aside from that “bright colors” was the only answer I had. When she stumbled across this yard, she knew that this was it. There was no other single color of yarn that would ever sum up Kelly Rivard quite like this yarn did.

So, she sent me pictures, I squealed, and then began the relatively-short process of waiting for the end result. When Natalie sent me pictures, the only word I had to describe the scarf was, “Happiness.” So, today’s post is about happiness. Finding happiness, growing happiness, and letting small joys grow into larger joys.

Happiness Scarf 1

Isn’t it wonderful, friends?

I can never really remember a time when my life has been simple. While I grew up in a simple place with simple pleasures and a simple lifestyle, “things” were never simple. My household was a loud, busy, bustling place. Then Dad died. Then the quagmire of my teenage years began. Then life and family and friends all became more complicated, because that’s what they do in high school. Then, the blessing-and-curse known as bipolar disorder became a part of my life, followed by its partner-in-crime, bulimia.

Happiness Giveaway Scarf 2

So many lovely colors, and the way they intertwine.

Life has never really been simple, and it never will be, honestly. But, even a complicated life has its simple joys, and I think those are the seeds that grow the most happiness. You know the things I’m talking about — when you’re with friends and there’s a lapse in the conversation, a pause after laughter when you’re all soaking up the beauty of just being together; or, those easy moments where you wind up watching a sunset and marveling at its beauty as it promises a bright tomorrow.

Happiness Giveaway Scarf  3

This scarf has captured optimism in textile form.

Moving can be hard. I left what I knew to take on a fresh start in a city that was far from any familiarity. And I found happiness here. It wasn’t that things fell into place perfectly — while that happens sometimes, a look at my first almost-year here has definitely had some major setbacks. But, Virginia Commissioner of Agriculture Matt Lohr phrased it perfectly during a session he gave at Missouri Young Farmers & Ranchers Leadership Conference in February: “Life isn’t about the cards you’re dealt, it’s about what you do with the hand.”

Happiness Giveaway Scarf  4

This scarf would be a wintertime staple for me. I’d put it on and be reminded of how much bright and beautiful there is to see in this world.

Whether you see your life situation as a garden, or a hand of cards, the ability to make good out of it rests in your reach. And you know what? The way you play those cards or sow those seeds may not turn out right every time — but each round or growing season is an opportunity to learn, and therefore a chance to get better it the next time.


Leave a comment about what makes you happy. That’s all. That’s it. Just talk about your happiness.

I’ll randomly choose a winner using on Monday, April 1st. To see more of Natalie’s wonderful works, check out NatInDesign on Facebook or her NatInDesign Etsy store here.


48 thoughts on “Giveaway: Happiness grows where you plant it.

  1. Happiness is something that I have realized I need to allow and not hunt. At this very moment green things make me happy. Trees, healthy grass, anything with chlorophyll in it basically.

    • I love this! So very true — sometimes the harder we try to find happiness, the more evasive it becomes. And as I’m sitting in Kansas City, completely snowed in for the third time in a month, I’m inclined to agree. Green things are happy!

  2. It’s the little things … my 9-year-old son’s smile, a new pair of heels, spending a Saturday night at home enjoying a glass of wine and a home-cooked meal,, my annual girls weekend with my sisters and cousin, beating my husband in golf (he can take it), traveling (almost anywhere), and chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven. To name just a few things … šŸ™‚

    • I could have sworn I responded this before, but I didn’t want you to think I was ignoring you! Perspective is huge. I spent a lot of time in college unhappy, and while I wish I could have enjoyed college better, I think I needed that experience to truly understand how to be happy, if that makes sense.

      Thanks for sharing, Janice! Great advice on making happiness!

  3. Thank you for this post. It is the reminder I needed to not let hard days on the farm define me. I am bigger than this and we are working toward a solution for most of the issues. This scarf is totally perfect for your personality too šŸ™‚

  4. I think one of the most satisfying things for me is meeting goals. Whether they are big goals like starting my farm, or small goals like biking that extra mile or finally vacuuming the living room, checking something off my list is what keeps me feeling happy!

  5. There are a lot of things that make me happy. Reading books makes me happy. Listening to my favorite music and dancing around like a hooligan makes me happy. Watching little kid movies makes me happy. My faith makes me happy. The thing that makes me the most happy though, is doing stuff with my family. I love watching movies with my parents, playing with my younger cousins, and playing cards at family get-togethers. Without my family I do not know who I would be and having them in my life just makes me really happy.

  6. I have been finding happiness in my new dog – he is a riot!! With my daughter away at college, he has filled a very large void!

    • I know my pup (and my cat) make my apartment “home” for me. They’re definitely “family” to me! I’m glad you have something fun going on to fill the empty space.

      I’m actually trying to help my mom find a dog right now — I think empty-nesting is getting hard on her. šŸ˜‰

  7. My sons bring me joy. They have since the day they were born. Family is an important part of happiness. Deep, meaningful happiness comes from enjoying each moment of each day, no matter what you face. I married the love of my life last year after 23 years of being apart. I thought all the talk about “soul mates” and “not being able to live without someone” was crap until he came back into my life. Happiness is sharing my life with him and enjoying it whether we’re baling hay, doing chores or relaxing at home. That deep connection and trust in unconditional love makes me very, very happy.

  8. Happiness… is when I arrive at my parents house after a long drive from the city to be greeted (right at the crack of my car-door) by big two dogs, with their tails wagging like crazy. No matter what mood I’m in, they sure do know how to make girl feel at home.

    • Oh my goodness. My three siblings and I were scattered across 8 years and even then it was hard to get us all to sit still together. I can imagine how wonderful that is. Thanks for stopping in, Rebecca! And THANK you for sharing your happiness!

  9. Well, see, there’s this little tiny thing that interrupts my days and makes me think twice about all things that I take for granted. She happens to make me happy. Oh, and my boys. And my farm. And my cows. And life.

  10. I think happy is part of my DNA. I love to laugh and make others laugh and smile. What makes me happy? Monkeys! Socks, yes socks. Cats. Digging my hands into warm soul in my flower gardens. All the Coles in that pretty scarf. A lazy afternoon on a beach. Loving the same man for 35 years. And so much more. Another day, another story. Peace.

  11. Only having 5 1/2 weeks left of nursing school makes me very happy!! And having a job ready to start when I am done makes me even happier!

  12. Happiness is having children that think you’re the best dad in the world. (unfortunately that kinda runs out around the time they become teenagers)
    Happiness is going and doing something for someone else when you’d rather be asleep. (it may not make you happy, but it might make them happy)
    And happiness is finding corned beef brisket on sale, cheap, right after you get paid.

    • If it helps any, eventually your children come back around after the teenage years end. My ma and I had a pretty turbulent relationship from 14-19. Then when I hit my 20’s I suddenly realized how lucky I was to have her. She’s my rock, even from 500 miles away.

      Thanks for sharing your happiness, Nelson!

  13. I was going to write a bit of a snarky note having just gotten off a late night work call… but that isn’t in the truest since of this blog post. What makes me happy is a job well done (and a paying job for that matter), hanging out with my family, Easter weekend, my two-year old niece grabbing my hand and pulling me into a room to show me something very exciting, riding a bike on a beautiful day and drinkable water from the faucet. All great things. And a dishwasher. That makes me happy too… someday I’ll get one.

    • Dishwashers are wonderful things. Although, they pale in comparison to your other sources of happiness. It sounds like you had a fantastic Easter weekend. Thank you so much for sharing your happiness with us! And good luck continuing that job-well-done, my friend.

  14. Pingback: And the winner of the Happiness Scarf giveaway is… |

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