FRYday: Emily

Do you ever wake up in the morning and wonder where you’ve gone? I’m too much of a zombie in the morning for critical thinking, so I usually experience this feeling in the evening while I am trying to fall asleep. I feel these feelings every now and then, sometimes they are sad and bleak, sometimes they are proud and profound. It all depends on if the part of me I lost was something I miss, or something I’m glad to be rid of. Whatever it is, I’m never indifferent when I think back on how I used to be.
FRYday | Emily

About a month ago, these thoughts were sad and bleak. I felt like a dull penny. I was aching to be the vibrant life-filled person I was, but couldn’t seem to find anywhere. Not too terribly happy, full of stress, and my vision was set to only spot the people and events that were disappointing me or letting me down. Going through the motions of life, with no reason to be anything but incredibly grateful, yet I was just… there. You see why I say sad and bleak! For some, these feelings are chemical and it’s more than just a funk. Luckily for me I could be eased out of it. I was encouraged by my husband to take back what was mine. To remember those things I love to do, and just do them already! My friend Brooke White calls it her “Happy Tools” in this awesome post, basically, the things that put the shine back on your penny.

For me, it’s music and books. Whether it’s a good hard run with music so cheesy I’d be embarrassed if anyone else heard. A solo-drive where I can sing my heart out with the wind running through my window-dangling fingers (without the inevitable “You’re too wowd, Mom!”) Trading new music finds with my husband, listening to old ones that remind us of when we were awkward and Junior-High-ified. But really, all it really ever takes is a good book. Something that challenges me, that stays with me, that I’ll highlight and think on for weeks. Even if the story isn’t happy, I find happiness in being totally taken out of my own head and into someone else’s, and only a good book has that power over my mile-a-minute mind. And after a couple weeks of it all, oh man, I feel so much better! So here’s to taking back what’s mine, dusting off the Happy Tools, shining up that figurative penny, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting: You can’t draw water from an empty well.

And because you know I’m going to ask, here’s a two part question… What are your Happy Tools? And, read any good books lately?



We’re talking all things business and family with Raising Happy, read how we try to balance it all here.


  1. on August 2, 2013 at 7:32 am said:

    Thanks for the shout-out, ladies.

    But alas, the Internet had other plans. This morning, Bluehost, my hosting provider, suffered a major outage:

    So is down until it’s up again.

    Aiyah. All I can do is chuckle at the “perfect” timing.

  2. on August 2, 2013 at 7:47 am said:

    On a positive note:

    Wonderful post, Emily. Your candor and optimism are inspiring. We’ve all been there, sister – remiss and in the doldrums. But as you’ve shown, we just gotta keep on keeping on. I like the “shiny penny” analogy.

    Thanks for pointing me to your friend, Brookie Babble. Her music is making me forget all about my pesky website situation. Sing the Bluehost away, ha.

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:28 pm said:

      Thanks again for your post on us, we loved it!!


  3. Amy Scarborough:
    on August 2, 2013 at 8:48 am said:

    Look forward to book recommendations, I could use some!!!

  4. Lindsay:
    on August 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm said:

    You are the best with words. Someday I think you should write a book, not just read them

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm said:

      love you Linds. it’s always been a dream, if i ever knew what the H to write.


  5. on August 3, 2013 at 12:19 am said:

    1. Im sorry you were feeling like a dull penny Emily.
    2. I am so glad you found your happy tools. totally works.
    3. agreed. music is the best happy tool
    4. i’m reading the artist way, have you read that yet? great. I don’t agree with every word, but a ton of it is genius, game changer. Also, Brene Brown “Daring greatly”. Both self-helpers, thats what i read
    5. thanks so much for the shout out! Great post 🙂

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm said:

      Aww Brooke, you’re such a wise owl. After I read your post I really thought you should write a book. You are an awesome writer.

      I will check those books out ASAP, they sound awesome.


  6. E:
    on August 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm said:

    Nothing better than getting lost in a good book. Some books that have seriously got me lost and books I love and help me to be so grateful for my life and inspired…..& both not the newest books on the block. “Left To Tell” by immaculee ilibagiza. So amazing. “The Room” by Emma donoghue. Kinda scary, but it is a definite heart book not a head book.

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm said:

      These sound awesome, thank you!!


  7. on August 4, 2013 at 12:31 am said:

    I understand the zombie thinking in the mornings. I can’t get off the couch without coffee. Reading? I’ve had tons of friends in my life tell me I read too much. Who are these people? Great blog! Keep up the good work!

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:25 pm said:

      Haha, I feel like I would read a book a week if I had the time!


  8. on August 4, 2013 at 3:00 pm said:

    Love this post! You really have so many tools to pick yourself out of a slump…it is incredible.

    Roller Skating with Rickets is an outstanding book. It will change your life…it is the true story of a woman living with a chronic disease and how she has found tremendous joy in her hardships.

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm said:

      Sounds awesome, adding it to my “to read” list!


  9. on August 4, 2013 at 8:31 pm said:

    My husband and I call the dulling of the penny “losing our sparkle.” It just happens sometimes. I have to remind myself that every moment can’t be perfect or even happy. Sometimes you just have off days. The water always brings my sparkle back. Especially the ocean. I don’t live near the ocean though, so a creek or lake has to do! I also love going to the movies. Nothing like losing myself in a great movie for a couple hours. As for books, well, these days if I have time to actually read…I’m sleeping!! The last book I read and loved was Life of Pi. Also, Water for Elephants was wonderful. Both are movies now, but the books were way better. I hope your sparkle stays around for a long time.

    • Small Fry:
      on August 5, 2013 at 4:24 pm said:

      I love that, and you’re right no one needs to be 100% all the time. Too much pressure!

      Thanks for your comment.


  10. Nicole:
    on August 8, 2013 at 10:37 pm said:

    One of the best books I have ever read is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Pick it up immediately!

    • Small Fry:
      on August 14, 2013 at 12:43 am said:

      I’ve read it! It was so great, I might have to do a re-read!


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