When I was a wee bonneted lass of about three, I stumbled upon a worn copy of Grey’s Atlas of the Human Body hidden in plain sight on the overstuffed bookcases at my parents house. I have no doubt that I was looking for a leftover piece of chocolate with which to taunt my brother (“Loooook at what IIIIII found, Uncle Aunt Becky, and yooooouuuu can’t haaavvvve it!”), but accidentally I found something that would change my life.

The book fell from it’s shelf, flipped open and the afternoon sun sank in the sky as I poured over the ancient pages of the human body, flayed and open, the diagrams carefully explaining words I couldn’t quite read. It didn’t matter what they said. The pictures were there: the muscles, the bones, the heart, the brain.

It was beautiful.

I fell in love at three years old. It’s a love that still makes my soul dance, my face break out into a gigantically goofy grin, and my brain flood with serotonin and norepinephrine.

Happiness. Such a simple emotion. So hard to explain.

When My Band of Merry Pranksters (and, presumably Your Aunt Becky) were asked by The Science Museum’s new worldwide project, “Who Am I?” to answer ‘what makes you smile?’ I could hardly say no.

In no particular order, here are some things that make me smile:

1) Unintentionally hilarious packaging by way of poor translation.

This gem was sent TO ME by my friend Wild Cakes and it sits proudly in my china cabinet. Because why the hell would I actually put CHINA in there? What, am I FANCY PANTS now?

(answer: you can take the trash out of the girl, but you can’t…wait, I’m confused)

2) My awesomely bedazzled phone. It’s really, really pathetic, actually, but it goes to show that when you can find someone else who CAN do something for you, you always, always should. Otherwise, you end up looking like a thumbless two year old probably had arts-n-crafts time with your phone.

c) Twitter. Although I often mocked it for being the most narcissistic and obnoxious, I now find to be full of The Awesome.

4) Mushroom Printing, our new group blog which is going to be full of the win, which is now ready for you to submit your most delicious, entertaining stories. I’m sure I’ll do an official launch on Monday when The Internet is not sleeping, but may as well start that puppy up.

f-niner) Smaller pants. They may not be my missing (WHORE) pants, but at the very least, I ordered some new pants in a smaller size.

00.00008) The continuing adventures of Mr. Sprinkles, my fake cat. Look at what that wily cat was up to when I wasn’t looking!

So THAT is what I was upset about. Mr. Sprinkles was busting up my army of bunnies!

And there Mr. Sprinkles, my fake cat, is AGAIN!

Oh, Mr. Sprinkles, what a silly guy you are.

6.8) This poem, that had me smiling through my tears, written by my friend, Star Crossed Writer. It is singularly the most beautiful thing I have ever read.


An army stands ten thousand strong and tall,
But you shall rise above the bloody fray
And rain down vengeance ‘pon your enemies
And all those who would stand against your will.

When darkness threatens fainter hearts than yours
And calls ring out for champions to arise,
The cries will cease and everyone will see
Amelia, the Princess of the Bells.

I don’t even know what to say. Thank you doesn’t begin to suffice.


All right, Pranksters, this is what makes Your Aunt Becky smile. What makes YOU smile? Pull up a tall glass of vodka, gather round, and let’s freaking SMILE our balls off today.

90 thoughts on “Happiness Never Decreases By Being Shared.

  1. Yesterday, was my Mea’s 3rd anniversary of being home. That was a really good day. Tomorrow is Mack’s 18th birthday. It’s all kind of bittersweet.

  2. Reserving a shit-ton of books at the library, and they all come in at once and I have a mountain of books I can read. GLEE!

    Also rain puddles. Either jumping in them alone or with the kids, splashing into them and soaking my long-suffering husband, or driving through them to make a HUGE tidal wave splash.

  3. Reading this made me smile. From ear to ear.

    Cruising on my bike past a long line of cars stacked up, waiting for a train to finish crossing… and then standing next to the tracks… feeling the asphalt shake as the train rumbles by. I don’t know why, but I was smiling big.

  4. Holding a sleeping baby probably makes me the happiest. Oh, and white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. And Vegas; can’t forget Vegas. And funny stand-up comics. And coffee and vodka, though never together. And the bestest aunt in the whole wide world, my Aunt Becky.
    These are a few of my *favorite* things. 🙂

  5. YOU make me smile for onsers!

    Lets see, my unhealthy passion for encased meats, thunderstorms, long naps, twitter too, my mothers newly formed habit since she turned 70 about talking about how awesome sex is. (even though it also makes me scream “SHUT UP!!”)

  6. ha! My roommate getting woken up out of a dead sleep to answer the door in his skivvies to sign for MY delivery. And the UPS guy liked it too! yep. made me smile for sure.

  7. I smile when the kids and hubby are all throwing out one-liners and razzing the hell out of each other. My yard. My new pond. My little blind black dog that’s so excited to “see” me after I’ve been gone for more than 30 seconds. My 90 yo neighbor who says “Have a drink with Grandma”. My hubby and his “war wall” which is actually a basterd child of a to-do list and a chore list on a white board. Stupid questions.
    I have a lot to smile about.

  8. A new book (and new shoes); that amazing feeling of accomplishment after finishing a particularly hard run/workout/yoga class; getting into my car on a beautiful day, cranking up the iPod and driving with no destination in mind.

  9. Things that make me happy:

    My four amazing children.

    Rain showers and the smell it leaves after.

    Random drives with your friend talking about nothing and everything.

    Reminding someone they are important and you care for them, when they think they are all alone in this world.

  10. um…speaking of mushroom press- I need someone to start making “eager Beaver” shirts- because I thought it up and I think it’s funny.

  11. Lots of things make me smile. In fact, so many that I may just devote a blog entry this in the near future. Damn you for making me think! But the biggest one is my family. Not just my blood family, but my fiance and our three puppies: the family that wakes up with me every day and cuddles up by my feet and makes me smile when I don’t think anything can. There’s nothing better.

  12. When some fucker tries to throw me under the bus only to have it backfire and then I get to laugh, obnoxiously, in their face. THAT makes me smile.

  13. I love a really silly pun.
    And the sea.
    And diving into a cold pool on a hot day.
    And all the kids dozing together on the sofa.
    And the husband in the right trousers – he has the cutest ass.

  14. Bath time
    clothes straight out of the dryer
    cats in sunbeams
    Those 5 precious weeks of the year that you can sleep with your windows open at night.<— lives in Maryland.

  15. Things that have made me smile lately:

    – The stranger who called my son a “Little Man” for how well behaved and mature he is and how I must be raising him right.
    – Sharing stories with a friend at lunch, eating outside next to a lake and walking along the lakeshore path afterwards.
    – Watching my kids and husband play hide and seek inside – hilarious as there are only so many places you can hide in our small house. And yet, they can play for 20-30 minutes at a time…
    – Watching my kids run around our vegetable garden to point out everything that’s growing and ready to be picked (and knowing that I have no idea what I’m doing, but things are still growing).
    – Listening to my son trying to convince me that he really did pet the fox he saw at the school park (he has his daddy’s sense of humor and it’s awesome).

  16. Watching my husky puppy Juneau getting bigger and the fact she holds my hand with her mouth when we walk around the yard.
    Coming home to boyfriend everyday (and I will be totally happy the day he does dishes for me without me having to ask)
    Cooking breakfast for dinner
    Living 5 minutes from the beach.
    Great family/friends

    (not necessarily in that order)

  17. Having enough leftovers so I don’t have to cook
    My husband not being too excited about leftovers takes me out to eat.
    Portion at the restaurant so big that I take home enough for two lunches.
    Discovering that diet green tea and gin is not bad, and gets better the more you have.
    My awesome collection of music, something for any mood or decade.
    My Kindle
    My blackberry with Kindle, facebook, twitter, e-mail, evernote , box.net, and radio apps (it may not sparkle, but it radiates joy)
    When people tailgate me, I open up the moonroof, play the Black-Eye Peas really loud, and slow down five miles an hour. Then they think I’m crazy and drive around me.
    Chocolate covered bacon is the new Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

  18. People who do what they’ve said they’ll do. I’m not happy much these days. Sigh.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K (who ain’t Mary Sunshine right now)

  19. the smell of sun warmed skin

    lots of books to read

    a nap

    anticipating a disney vacation and then actually going!

    sweet potato fries with mayo!

    laughing out loud in a quiet place and NOT apologizing

    babies laughing

    little kids trying to tell jokes

    my mom saying she loves me

  20. Photography

    Bike riding

    Having my 5 year old neighbor tell me it’s okay to cry when I get road rash during a 200+ mile bike ride and offering me some of his “hot wheels” bandaids.

    Wandering on the highway of life and seeing all that is great in this world and some of what is not so great so that I appreaciate what I have.

  21. The new guy in my life is responsible for the biggest stoopidest grin thats on my face today. For that, I am very happy!

  22. A night out with good friends. Date night with hubby. Laser tag and silly arcade games with the kids. Sleep. Chocolate covered pretzels. My Internet peeps. Did I mention sleep?

  23. 1. Bulldogs- doing anything, of course!!
    2. The Princess Fairy- because she is awesome!!
    3. Football
    4. Watching my wife sleep- she’s beautiful!!

  24. I actually have packets of that soup in my house. It’s sold in South Florida grocery stores. I used to send them to friends as a joke. So if you have need for another one, let me know.

  25. The rare occasion where both of my kids sleep through the night AND the dogs don’t need to get up to pee/puke/poop. The three dreaded P’s that disturb my slumber…

  26. Pingback: Four Steps to Lucid Happiness | 97 Steps To A Happy Relationship
  27. Pingback: How Do You Define Happiness? | 97 Steps To A Happy Relationship
  28. Freshly cut grass….getting off early on Friday afternoons…Hearing my 5 yr old saying please, thank-you, and excuse me without being asked… waking up to my new babies gurgles…Celebrating 10 yrs of marriage – at 26…..Alabama – just being here makes me smile…HOT summer Days….and wondering about 70+ yr olds 10 yr plans 😉

  29. If you removed his tail and added about ten pounds, Mr. Sprinkles would look just like my real cat. But my real cat could *never* do those ninja moves. (When we adopted him, they initially thought he was a pregnant female. He’s actually just comfortable with his body – all 17 chubby pounds.)(How he stayed so husky on the mean streets is anyone’s guess. My guess? Someone is missing a Pomeranian.)

  30. My birthday. Which happens to be today. Being around family and friends who love me. My granddaughter. My coworkers. My puppy and my kitty.

  31. My marriage makes me happy. The Hubby and I celebrated 16 years yesterday and I smile just thinking about all the growing we’ve done together.(BTW, I lost my whore pants when I outgrew them after baby #1.)

  32. I smile when makes baby gives me kisses and when my two year old takes a nap. I also smile when my husband remembers me in some small way (like bringing home a celebrity gossip magazine from the store) and when my oldest son makes up jokes.

    I also smile when I read the definition of mushroom printing. You are really good at naming things.

  33. 1. skipping (try it…almost impossible to NOT smile)
    2. little munchkins, in the store or on the back of parents’ bike, who make
    eye contact and wave and smile real big
    3. my not so fake cat who brings offerings of gophers and rats to my dog
    4. and of course, you, Aunt Becky

  34. What makes me smile? My high school classmate that is convinced the government is out to get him. He incessantly posts his deepest thoughts & concerns about this matter as Facebook status updates

    I smile everytime I read about his concern over Big Brother’s mind control. Facebook is a great way to overthrow the big G.

  35. Totally stealing this for tomorrow’s blog post. Because I got nothing. Unless you think the Internet wants to hear about how I was attacked by a car door, while I was talking smack about that very car when it happened. Like, it KNEW I was calling it a jack-hole.

  36. My baby fakes she is sleeping when I get her out of the car, and if I ask her if she is awake she says uh-uhn (no). I love that she has a sense of humor and makes a joke, even though she barely talks at all!

    I’ve been exercising again for two solid months. No weight loss, but pants fit better. Even whore pants. Progress!

    Clean sheet day. It only comes around once a week at my house, but I do love it so.

    Kids mostly sleep through the night.

    I don’t really hate anyone. I hate some things, but not any people.

  37. So many things make me smile, and being asked what they are probably tops the list. At the moment: the loaf of homemade herb bread (with basil and oregano from our garden) cooling in the kitchen; the sight of my 2-year-old daughter racing through the grocery store, checking every second or two to make sure I’m keeping up with her; my 4-year-old’s hugs, which are both heartfelt and stingy enough to make them really special; my 6-year-old sitting in the sun on a beanbag chair I made for him, listening to his favorite book on CD. And the knowledge that no matter how many calls I fail to return (or how many people fail to return mine) or how cranky I get, I am still surrounded, in real life and online, by some pretty spectacular people who occasionally stop and ask, “What makes you smile? Cause I want to know.”

  38. What makes me smile…

    my crazy son, Gabe. You truly never know what that child is going to do. He is always making me laugh.

    books, books, and more books

    my blog

    all my crafty stuff

    my teenager who still wants to call home when he is away for the week

    kisses from my hubby

    my sweet, gentle teddy bear of a middle child

    and so much more

  39. -when the dog farts so hard on the wood floor that she startles herself
    -well-distributed nacho toppings (DO NOT MAKE ME DIG FOR THE CHIPS)
    -giving hugs with huge winter jackets on (feels like the start of a sumo match)
    -when drunk girls dance too enthusiastically while wearing tube tops and their boobs make a break for it (only seen this once – made my LIFE)
    -Aunt Becky. I’ve never lol-ed so much at anything on the internet. I look like a nut job sitting at my computer cackling away to an empty room!

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