Meet Lacey Cooper. Lacey is 27 years old and lives in Utah. Lacey is happily married to her husband Steven and mothers their three children. Lacey was my neighbor who quickly became my friend. I remember when I first met her, I was walking past her home, heading to the park for a walk. She stopped me, introduced herself, and suggested we get together for a barbecue. After spending one evening with her, I went home and told my husband: “I’m going to like her. She says things people think in their heads, but are too afraid to say out loud. She’s real.” Here is what Lacey has to say about happiness…
I’m honored that Katie asked me to share some thoughts on happiness with her viewers! I feel like happiness should be a big part of every single day. But it’s not always that simple. I try to surround myself with things that make me happy.
·A clean home makes my heart happy! I try to clean up before bedtime to make things easier on me. Because if I wake up to a clean house I’m just in a happy mood all day. Waking up to dirty dishes in the sink is one of the fastest ways to ruin my morning. Now, I’m not saying I’m perfect in my cleaning habits – certainly not. All I’m saying is trying to get things cleaned up immediately instead of “it can wait until morning” makes me happy.
·Positive social media: Between the news, Facebook, and Instagram there is so much hate. I get easily overwhelmed when I’m surround by negative vibes. So I have unfollowed friends and family on Facebook and Instagram who consistently post negative things. I try to check in daily on my friends who I know will post something positive. And I try my very hardest not to post anything negative on my outlets.
·Photos: I hands down admit to taking way too many photos. But that is probably the one thing that makes me the happiest. I take photos of everything. Any and every little silly thing my kids do. The dog. Myself- yes totally a selfie kinda person- but those usually just get sent to my cute husband. I want to remember every detail of my children’s childhood. So even though I get teased for taking pictures, I’ll do it anyway. Because it literally feeds my soul.
Family time: This is so important in making me happy. Between work, sports, and church callings, our family time is pretty limited. We try to make sure to watch a show or movie together a few times a week. Watching my husband read stories almost every night to our kids pulls on my heart strings.
·Husband: He is what makes my soul shine. He is literally an answer to my prayers. Dating him is where it’s at. I need my one on one time with him. It took a lot of hard work to get to where we are. I’m a ‘bottle it up inside until I explode type of person’. And he’s coached me to tell him exactly what I need when I need it. That in itself has made me so much happier. Being able to be open with my feelings and be carefree and know that he will support me no matter what puts a smile on my face.
·Me time: Cooking is totally my jam! I love love love cooking for people. And it makes me super happy when people take seconds! It’s probably one of the silliest things about me. I’m also totally a soak in the tub until my fingers and toes are pruney kinda gal- a Harry Potter marathon- go for a drive to the mountains to feed my soul-Netflix while my kids are napping- rock out to the radio- read an entire book series in a week kinda person.
Depression has hit hard in my family- my mom suffered from depression and my dad’s depression took his life when he could no longer find his happy place. As a wife and mother I put myself on the back burner a lot. It wasn’t until recently when I found myself showing some serious signs of depression (postpartum to be specific) that I realized in order to keep clear of all that negative energy, I needed my home to be a place for my happiness to shine. And it needed to start by taking care of myself, before I could take care of my family. Part of how I started coping with that and practicing self care is by eating better and taking better care of my body. I also started having date night every week with my husband. And I make sure to talk to a best friend every single day. It has made me feel better inside and out.
There are so many setbacks in life. Watching my husband get picked over for amazing job opportunities hurts, and watching my son struggle in school also hurts. Sometimes I feel like a failure as a wife and a mother. And it’s during these dark times that I try my hardest to count my blessings. I thank the Lord for everything I have: my amazing husband, three wonderful children, our home, food in our bellies, laughter, and tears. Finding the good in every situation is not always easy, and sometimes I feel like giving up. But it’s these moments that I remember we’ve got to feed our soul the good stuff… and just be happy.