The Happy Day Project 2012 Recap

The Happy Day Project is officially over.

It was a hard week.

This boy…

…picked himself up a virus that at one point resulted in a fever of 104.1…a trip to the pediatrician…and a “he’s okay, just wait it out…” diagnosis.

Plus the election and all the hub bub that seemed to bring.

Plus…Life.  All the regular stuff.

Happy Day would have been reeeeaaaalllly easy to shine this year.

But I had to take my own advice and carve out the time to make others smile.

Even when hunkering down would be so much easier.

So, we wrote notes to friends.  Told them we loved them.  We appreciated them.  Because if left unprompted, we don’t say it often enough.

We bought giftcards and are on the lookout for souls to hand them to.

We pray after we have gifted one.

We smile.

We have funny little conversations…

“How do we know if someone is homeless?”

“Well, you know those people who stand on the corner with signs?  Those people are homeless…”

“But some of those people are telling us about tacos.  So not those people, right Mom?”

“Right.  The guy hawking 99 cent tacos at the Mexican restaurant  is not homeless.  I don’t think.”

Kids crack me up.

We shopped a very important catalog.

Its glossy pages filled with treasures thousands of times more God pleasing than the Pottery Barn one I was salivating over just the week before.

The boy asked questions with tears in his eyes.

Why were they sitting on dirt?

Why don’t they have doctors like us?

You mean they don’t have Mommies and Daddies?  But who takes care of them?

It was hard.  So hard.  But a good hard.

Along with some mosquito nets, he wanted to buy sports equipment.

“Because they should have fun like we do Mom.”

Yes, son.  Yes, they should.


We baked pumpkin muffins for Daddy’s office.

We bought water.

I want to buy water every day.

We assembled a paper grocery bag filled with simple creature comforts.

Some everyday “essentials” and even treats of chocolate and lollipops.

We have prayed for the recipient.  Whoever he may be.

We baked some more.

Cookies this time.

And delivered them to the neighbor.

Who came over a few minutes later and thanked us personally.

I teared up when I told him we appreciated his service.

The kids yelled “Happy Veteran’s Day Mr. Tim!!!”

My day was 1,000 times better after that.

In fact, my week was a million times better.

(And can someone please tell my kids to quit growing up?!  It’s getting really annoying.)

Was it hectic?  Yes.

Was it inconvenient?  Totally.

Was it the best lesson I could possibly teach my littles?  No doubt.

Because how can I implore them to be kind and generous and to think of others before themselves…if I don’t make the effort to do it too?

I’m tired of being too busy to love others.

I’m tired of finding 78 reasons “I can’t right now”.

Because my heart would shatter in millions of pieces to hear those same words come from my children’s mouths.

I often sat squirming trying to answer questions and every cell in my body wanted to change the subject, gloss it over…anything at all to not get into the sad details of this broken world.

But it is in this tension that harbors the best conversations with our children.  It is here, in these uncomfortable topics, that we can help mold their hearts towards compassion and global love.

It probably didn’t help that as I was plodding my way through Happy Day Week (and not always with the happiest of heart), I was smack in the middle of reading this book.

Get it.  Read it.  It is good.

And absolutely hysterical too.

Like, actual laugh out loud funny.  Which makes swallowing some of the pills a bit easier.  A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.  In a literary-God-messing-you-up way.

I pretty much want to be besties with Jen Hatmaker.

But I guess I’ll have to settle for stalking her blog.

Not creepy at all.

So…did you play along with Happy Day?  Even if you only did one of the tasks, I’d love to hear how you felt about it!  If you have a blog, I’d love to read a post you wrote (if you want obvs), and if you don’t, you can just leave me a comment!  No secret prizes this time (lo siento), but I really would just like to read about your experience!



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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

Latest posts by jeannett (see all)


  1. 1

    I did the happy project! But it was HARD! I was sick, life got in the way, I didn’t quite complete it as instructed but felt great about the little happiness I did force time for. Such a good reminder, that its important and I want to do it. Thank you for this week project.

    PS…. Im afraid to read the 7 book!! But I LOVE Jen Hatmaker!
    bobbie´s last blog post ..Happiness project wrap-up

  2. 2

    did it! loved it!!!! haven’t yet blogged it, but will this week & will then share the link. just wanted to go ahead and say you are SUCH an inspiration & I hope that when I’m a mom I’ll find time to share this time & lessons with my littles too. You rock :) and so do your kids!

    thanks for putting this together & for making it a priority even in a busy, sick, crazy week :)
    Caroline´s last blog post ..Skydiving!!

  3. 3

    I did one of the tasks. That was a great way to do something, and i’m hoping that next year i’ll be able to do more.

  4. 4

    I did it! And I felt like the Grinch at the end of it – a heart that was two sizes too small that was suddenly bursting with joy. Everyday was a gift that challenged me to bring happiness to someone else, and I think I succeeded. What a great way to humble ourselves and remember not to take for granted the things that we have. Thanks for sharing and helping us, Jeannett!

  5. 5

    We did it – every day my kids would ask what today’s “task” was. They loved it. We had hard talks. My oldest donated all his Xmas money to our sponsored child in Tanzania (I told him we tend to spend about $50 on each child at Xmas). I matched it and our Peter will receive a $100 Xmas gift from us this year. Yesterday, while grocery shopping, I had $40 left on my monthly giftcard. There was a sign to donate to Community Food Share. So, with the prodding of my youngest, I made a $40 donation (apparently $1 feeds 1 person at CFS). We did it and I think the kids are sad it’s over. But now, returning grocery carts and buying little gift cards just might make it into our mainstream. I hope so. Thank you, Jeannett, for everything.
    (I did a recap, so if you pop over it’s the top post!)
    Ellen´s last blog post ..The Happy Day Project 2012 Recap

  6. 6

    I was sick all last week so I didn’t actually participate *however* I had volunteered to make goodies for the hubs office, and I think I spammed you about that.

    Is Mr. Tim the grouchy, retired AF neighbor?


  7. 7

    We didn’t do all of the days, but we did take time from one of our homeschooling days to bless another family. One of the little girls came up to me at church yesterday morning, gave me a hug and thanked me for taking the time to come over. She is 5 years old. It was so sweet and definitely made my day!

    Praying your little guy is feeling better…
    Yvonne @ Our LIttle Corner of the World´s last blog post ..A quick Lightroom edit

  8. 8

    Your children are adorable!! :) I love your photos, your treats, I love it all!!! This was such a fun project. I started off with huge intentions…we didn’t quite get there completely, but I’m so thankful for what we could do. I shared my post above! Thank you so much for this link-up and sharing this project! You have such a beautiful heart :) Have a blessed day!!
    Amanda´s last blog post ..The Happy Day Project

  9. 9

    I did. It brought me back to reality to realize I take for granted what so many don’t have . Dome days i Didnt do — Excuses. Thanks for your inspiration.

  10. 10

    Thank you, Jeannett, for hosting THDP’12 and {holding our hand} throughout the week! I sure enjoyed delivering happiness and look forward to spreading a lot more through the holidays and beyond! You’re a gem and I admire your huge heart. Have a blessed day and rest of the week! XO

  11. 11

    It has been fun to read all the updates of the Happy Day Project. It was a great experience. I am so glad you shared your idea with us.
    Nicole´s last blog post ..The Happy Day Project 2012 Recap

  12. 12

    The Gipper t-shirt on your baby. So.Awesome!!!