Browsing Tag

Happy Day Moments

Handful of happy summer 2015

It was just too much.

Too many words.

Too much scrolling.


For two years I’ve posted Happy Day Moment Echoes for each month, a compilation of the 30 (or 31) daily postings on my HDM Facebook page.

So, now let’s make all this easier on our busy lives. I’ll just give you a HANDFUL of what I post each month. Here’s a handful of the encouraging/motivating/hopeful stuff I thought about during these summer months of 2015.

handful happy big



Don’t spend time tearing yourself apart and worrying if you’re good enough. You are good enough. 

May we look for the best in others. May we always forgive. May we never lose faith.

Don’t be defeated by darkness, but defeat darkness with light. Defeat hatefulness with love.

Let us never be inattentive to showing others graciousness and respect.

Don’t label others as “toxic” as an excuse to withhold compassion.

The real desire of our heart is that we want to be known, heard, and loved.

Don’t dwell more on what you’ve gone through; dwell more on what God has done for you.

Send that note. Take that meal. Hug that child. Serve that neighbor.


It’s not the stuff around us – it’s the stuff within us – that really matters.

A mark of maturity is when someone hurts you, you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.

Trust in God at all times. He is a refuge for us.

Let’s respect each other the way we long to be respected.

Let your list of blessings be longer than your list of complaints.

Every day do something you love. Every day tell someone you love them.

Your days will have greater peace if you are quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to be angry.

Let us have conversations that open up hearts and not shut them down.

For today, laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and keep on loving.

To be in someone’s heart, someone’s thoughts, someone’s prayers, is to be blessed.


Everybody struggles. Everybody has issues. Let’s show a bit more kindness.

What matters more is not how others treat me, but how I respond to how others treat me.

Stop comparing yourselves to others. Be your own best self.

What people need most: words that make them stronger, not words that tear them apart.

It’s not the happy people who are grateful; it’s the grateful people who are happy.

On this journey of life, let’s prop each other up and cheer each other on.

We all make mistakes; we all need grace and mercy. And forgiveness.

If you can’t speak kind words, then just don’t say anything.


There. How was that? Less scrolling. Tweet/comment on the one that pulled on your heart.

Happy Day Moment Echoes: 7.13

The thread weaving through these July posts is about “others.” Loving. Giving.  When we love and give to others, our lives are changed. Love generates love.  Our human nature leans towards selfishness, wanting our own needs and desires before others. But when we stop thinking selfishly, when we love and embrace others first, something wonderful happens: we receive. Love. Blessings. Happy day moments.My Hand

Be a friend to others. If someone needs your help or advice, be ready to give it. Be encouraging.

Love others. In spite of their weaknesses.

Live and act as if each day matters. Because it does.

If you give generously, you receive generously.

Don’t worry about getting it right. Just don’t give up.

Sometimes you never know how one kind word can change a person’s day. ‪

Smile. Laugh. Give others encouragement and you’ll make a happy day moment.

Go out of your way to tell people why you appreciate them.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more.

Even when difficult things happen, we can embrace a beautiful life.

Set realistic goals so that you don’t become drained.

Love is the most powerful and positively enduring action there is.

Don’t quit. Be diligent to overcome your challenges.

Time, one of the best gifts given. And received.

Kindness and forgiveness make this world a better place.

Give your entire attention to today and don’t get worked up about tomorrow. Today, find a happy day moment.

There’s a sweetness that comes from investing heart time with those we love. 

When you start believing that life is a blessing, you will start to feel that it truly is. 

We will find grace to help us when we need it.

Captivate others with truth: God loves. God forgives. God redeems. 

Love cares more for others than for self.

Love others. No matter what. 

We can’t change the past. We can’t control the future. But we can believe for hope and joy in this moment.

It’s perfectly okay to need help. 

Focus on what’s most important: The people in our lives.

My Dad, My Coach

My Dad turned 85 this month. So this post is to honor him. For the wealth of childhood Happy Day Moments.

When I was nine, my parents gave me an autograph book for Christmas. Throughout the holiday I pestered family and friends by collecting signatures and messages. I was delighted with that pink book with “Autographs” in fancy writing across the cover. The first page had lines for my name and my “favorites.” For “Favorite Book” was the difficult choice of Nancy Drew and the Secret of the Old Clock or Nancy Drew and the Haunted Mansion. But it was not a difficult choice for “Favorite Athlete.” No contest – I proudly wrote “my Daddy” in my best cursive.

BSU coaching smallI nearly swaggered with pride because of my Dad. My Dad had the best job of any dad I knew. Most friends were mysterious about what their dads did; they just came and went in suits and ties. My Dad, however, was a college football coach – that was worth bragging about. Kathy Williams’ dad was a close second because he managed the university auditorium and got to meet famous entertainers like Danny Kaye and The Temptations. And I have to admit I was a bit jealous when Kathy got to go backstage and meet Red Skelton. But, come on, what can really compare to coaching big college football players?

I mean, my Dad got to wear (and use!) a whistle when he worked! And he could yell and not even get in trouble. People called him “Coach,” an honorable title.

One of the best memories about his job was when he invited some of his players to our house on Friday nights for spaghetti dinner. Mom had to retrieve from the basement the biggest pot she had – the one she used for canning tomatoes – so she could cook all the spaghetti. Now, I’d been to plenty of gatherings and both the Kehoe and Drake families had healthy eaters among them, but I had never seen men pack away the volume of food as those football players did. It was amazing to watch.

Getting to sit beside one of the players – Dad usually invited two or three at a time – was the highlight of the meal for us four kids. If we were really lucky one of us got to sit between two of them. Dad even let us call them by their first names (instead of “Mister”), and I would oh so casually mention to my friends that “Mark,” “George,” or “Chuck” had come for dinner over the weekend. Some of them even signed my prized autograph book. I was envied.

A coach’s kid often saw life a bit differently. For example, Xs and Os didn’t mean kisses and hugs; they meant defense and offense. Sunday afternoons didn’t mean reruns of Charlie Chan movies; they meant six straight hours of football. For a long time I never knew there was any other programming than football on Sunday. I didn’t go visit historical battlefields or mansions; I went to football fields and high school gymnasiums. I actually saw my dad run backwards as he refereed high school basketball games. I knew of no other dad who could accomplish such a feat.

BSU 1Dad was, and forever will be, my favorite athlete, my teacher and coach, my Sahib Guru, my champion.

He taught me to punt, pass and kick a football, to throw a spiral and screen pass, to run the sideline and cut in for a long TD, to receive a handoff and sprint for quick yardage, and not to cry when I was tackled.

He taught me to stand in the batter’s box and not be afraid of a fastball, to keep my eyes on the ball and hit a line drive, to wind up and throw a strike, to keep my glove down on ground balls.

He taught me to swing a golf club off the tee, the iron shot, the chip shot, the bunker shot, and the proper putting stance, how to find my ball in the rough and retrieving it from the water.

He taught me how to run faster, how to dribble a basketball, shoot a lay-up and free throw.

He taught me how to hit, serve and pass a volleyball. He taught me to bowl. He even knew a thing or two about wrestling and gymnastics.

He taught me the serve and lob shot in tennis, how to hit a shuttlecock in badminton, how to pole vault and jump a hurdle.

He taught me all the stokes in swimming, even the “pick an apple and put it in the basket” technique of the sidestroke. He taught me to dive from the low board and the high board.

About the only sporting activities he didn’t teach me involved snow and ice. I don’t think I ever saw Dad in ice skates. Mom was the one who took us to the Duck Pond when it froze; she could even skate backwards.

Although Dad taught me the rules and play of so many sports, more important to him than how I played was the way I played – always trying, always perservering, always with respect and sportsmanship, always with dignity whether we won or lost. Often knowing I could improve, but always proud of my effort, he didn’t embarrass or belittle or discourage; rather he was a motivator and encourager.

FB playingHe reminded me that sports are games, they’re supposed to be fun. And by not losing sight of these facts and remembering to play fair and with sportsmanship, I carried the respect and appreciation of other people into every other aspect of life. He never emphasized winning “at any cost” but that winning was just one of several goals he’d like his kids to achieve. He took pride in our accomplishments and in improving our skills, so that we kids saw ourselves as winners, even if the scoreboard didn’t show the numbers going in our favor. Sports gave us new skills, new friends, and attitudes that helped us all through life.

Being a coach’s kid was a great childhood. Being Fred Kehoe’s kid was even better . . . and it’s still the best.

(For more on his faith influence, read Then Came a Miracle

photo by: GioPhotos

Not What I Got Under the Tree

Unlike Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” I never had that ONE special Christmas gift that I dreamed of, obsessed over, and fantasized about. Growing up, I know I received a lot of great Christmas presents. Chatty Cathy. Baby Thumbelina. Little Miss No-Name. I just don’t remember opening them. Although my parents had their financial struggles, they always made Christmas special for their four children. Dad worked an extra job refereeing high school basketball games to bring in a little cash, and Mom was the queen of bargain shopping. The gifts may have been inexpensive, but there was an abundance under the tree.

Don’t get me wrong. I loved getting presents. Presents are fun fun fun. I was not above counting mine to make sure the number matched those of my siblings. And I was not above informing parental units of any present-inequality. And I always made a list of stuff I really really needed and wanted. So, why is it that not one present stands out in my mind as the ONE?

Because what I remember most about the Christmases of my youth, and even those as an adult, is what we did, not what I received.

Stored in happy memories are the family traditions:  helping Mom and Dad drag the Christmas decorations out of the attic. Setting the Nativity on the dining room buffet table. Going with Dad (some years) to select the tree from the Kiwanis. Watching for him (some years) to pull into the driveway with the tree loaded on top of our station wagon. Decorating the tree with strings of blue lights (Mom’s choice – for some reason she rejected multi-colored lights). Hanging the very delicate eggshell ornaments Great Aunt Pearl made.

Memories of Mom making peanut brittle, toffee bars and enough cookies to feed the neighborhood. Memories of secrets and whispers and hiding places. Memories of snow and school vacations and sledding. Memories of hot chocolate and toast. Memories of caroling and sleigh bells. Memories of donating presents and food and serving others.

And Christmas lasting days and days and days. The piles of presents under our tree wrapped in newspaper are more memorable than what was wrapped. The act itself of unwrapping and finally seeing what was beneath the newspaper was thrilling and memorable. But most clear are the images of smiles, the sounds of laughter and “oh, thank you than you thank you,” not the images of toys or clothes.

It’s the experience of Christmas.

The best moments, the happy day moments were not the gifts, but the togetherness, the love of family. Even in the sporadic squabbles of siblings … even in the tiredness of late nights … even in the sometime stress of it all.

And with my own children, I wonder if they remember the gifts they received. Perhaps the Lego pirate ships. Perhaps the Nintendo Game gears. But mostly, I hope they remember what we did and not what they received. Assembling the wooden Nativity on the piano. Playing the Bing Crosby Christmas album. Rushing to peek in their “chomper” ornaments every morning. Reading the scriptures of Jesus’ birth from the Advent calendar. Memories of time, of experiences. The moments we spent as family. The moments we celebrated the best gift of love: the birth of our Savior.

Christmas should not center on what’s on our gift lists. For it’s not about what gifts we give or receive, but about what we do, what we experience.

Those are the happy day moments that matter.

photo by: roybuloy

Happy Day Moments: The Story

Years ago, one morning just beyond daybreak, I was snug in my bed, blankets tucked under my chin, sleeping the sound, deep, dreamless, sleep that comes upon a mother of two toddlers. When, suddenly, my left eyelid was peeled back from my eyeball. “It’s a happy day!” announced my smiling, cheery, three-year-old son Johnny.

So, that’s how it all began.  From that day on, “It’s a happy day” often replaced the daily “Good morning” salutation in our family.

And that’s how it all started. That “happy day” business.

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