Happiness is Homemade

Recently, in my piece Because I Said So, I mentioned that my focus as a mommy has become raising happy children. Following that post, I began to think about what I was doing to make my children happy. I also wanted them to talk to me about what made them happy. So, as we were headed to Charlotte, I had them create a “happiness” list for me. What better way for me to make sure I was incorporating some activities that made them happy into our lives.

Initially, I made it mandatory that they only list things they could agree would make them happy. But, their varying personalities and ten-year age difference meant they spent some long periods staring at each other in silence only to come up with nothing. After dropping the united front rule, they came up with some great ideas that I wanted to share with you. So, here we go:

 List 5 FREE things we could do as a family that would make you happy 

  1. X-box night. I am going to need someone to give me a tutorial on how the controller works before we do this.
  2. Movie night at home. Great idea as long as we begin by 7pm because I am usually fast asleep by 9pm.  Lol!
  3. Eat dinner together. My 7-year-old agreed to cook macaroni and cheese and broccoli for one of our nights together.  She learned from the best, of course! Stouffer’s and Birds Eye. 🙂
  4. Board Game night.  I told them I was totally okay with this as long as Monopoly was not included! Unfortunately, I have a strong feeling that I will be spending some days playing Monopoly.
  5. Relaxing on the hammock in our yard. You guessed it, my 17-year-old graciously committed to letting me and my 7 year old spend this quality time together without interruption from her.

List 4 things that cost up to $50 we could do as a family that would make you happy

  1. Go out for ice cream/sweet treat
  2. Go canoeing. Surprisingly my 17-year-old was all in for this outdoor adventure.
  3. Go out to eat together
  4. Go to the movies

List 3 things that cost between $50 and $100 we could do as a family that would make you happy

  1. Going out to eat together
  2. I’m still waiting for the 2nd and 3rd thing

List 2 things that cost between $100 and $250 we could do as a family that would make you happy

  1. Going to a professional football/basketball game. These days this might fall into the $1,000.00 category!
  2. Go to a water park

List 1 thing that cost up to $1000 we could do as a family that would make you happy 

  1. Go to NOLA. Totally my 17-year-old’s choice, but I was all in.  I absolutely love NAWLINS but haven’t had an opportunity to visit since my cousin graduated from Xavier some years ago!  Hope I can find some plant-based étouffée!  My 7-year-old wanted to know what in the world NOLA was. Lol!

I’m looking forward to doing these things with the girls over the next several months and will keep you posted on our adventures!  But, we are curious about what your family’s happy list would look like.  So, please create your list and share it with us.  We are always looking for new and exciting ideas!


Much Love,


Published by Tonza D. Ruffin

Perfectly Imperfect but VERY PROUD WOMAN, MOM, LAWYER, and AUTHOR, but most importantly...LIFE LOVER! I laugh loud, I work hard, I play hard, I am adventurous, I am curious, I am driven, I have moments of deep insecurity, I am loving, I am vulnerable, I am explosive (not one of my finer qualities), I dance around my house alone, I am an awful perfectionist which makes my insecurity worse, I sing out loud in my car without any concern for whose watching, I have trust issues, I do not live through my children, I no longer try to force my children into the mold that I created so that I could feel validated as a mother, I am a risk-taker, I am guarded in my personal life, I am kind, I am grateful. I am so excited about the rest of my life!

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