Saturday, April 9, 2011

exceeding happiness.

Readers, meet Junior Year Kayla (on the far right, looking smokin hot, for real).

Junior Year Kayla was optimistic, naive and 85% certified good-girl.  The other 15% of Junior Year Kayla had a desire to be just slightly rebellious.  So how does Jesus-Freak, trumpet-playing, bubbly Junior Year Kayla rebel?  She wears bracelets... multiple bracelets... layered on top of the other... while wearing a Disneyland t-shirt.  Attempted rebellion FTW.

Junior Year Kayla loved herself and the little things that made her unique...

  • She loved Jesus and wanted the whole world to know it
  • She drove wherever, and almost whenever, she wanted (although she could only enter the car via two of its four doors)
  • She (usually) hung out with guy friends and avoided (most of) the typical drama that comes from high school girls
  • She was a full-fledged band geek and had a sultry, sexy flugelhorn solo in jazz band (though she never would have referred to it as "sexy"... "sexy" was a dirty word to Junior Year Kayla)
  • And it sure didn't hurt that The Tuba-Player she was infatuated with thought she was the hottest thing since Drum Corps International (or he did for a few months at least)

Junior Year Kayla was excessively happy and she wanted to make sure everyone knew.  In fact, during one of her "I-like-you-and-I-know-you-like-me-so-we're-giddy-but-have-never-kissed-and-are-embarrassed-to-hold-hands-in-front-of-our-friends" phone conversations with The Tuba-Player, he suggested that she make a book of all the things that made her excessively happy... which, of course, she did.

The next day, Junior Year Kayla bought a new notebook and doodled the title, "Things That Make Me Excessively Happy" on the front.  Within the first week, Junior Year Kayla had listed over 100 things in her book, ranging from Jesus' excessive love for the world, to The Tuba-Player's new cologne, to her new pink-sequined-cowgirl shirt.  Junior Year Kayla really enjoyed junior year.

But, somewhere along the way, Junior Year Kayla became Senior Year Kayla, The Tuba-Player lost interest,  she bought a new car and she learned that "sexy"wasn't necessarily a bad word.  Soon enough, Senior Year Kayla became Freshman at Northwestern College Kayla and her book, along with all the memories that went into it, was quickly forgotten.

This week, 20-Something Kayla remembered that book.  20-Something Kayla wished she could hold the book in her hands, smell it and run her fingers over the words that optimistic and naive Junior Year Kayla had written years ago.  20-Something Kayla desperately longed to remember and re-live the excitement and excessive happiness Junior Year Kayla emanated.

However, 20-Something Kayla is older and broader wiser than her Junior Year couterpart.  20-Something Kayla knows that happiness is fleeting and that being excessively happy won't fulfill her anymore.  20-Something Kayla needs a life that exceeds happiness:

20-Something Kayla wants to be excessively joyful.

Excessively Joyful, Volume I

1. It brings me so much joy that despite how broke we are, Hubz still thinks that flowers (for me!) are worth spending money on.  He is incredibly thoughtful.

2. Yes, those hooks are made out of real forks.  In fact, I made them  It brings me so much joy to create something fun, beautiful and unique with my own two hands.  What a blessing.

3. It brings me joy that Hubz thought to take this picture after I painted my toenails.  I love the eye that he has for creating photos and designs, but more than anything else, I'm glad that he thinks my chubby toes are cute.

4. It brings me so much joy to try new things, especially new foods.  Yesterday I decided it was time to try a unique cupcake recipe (and get one more thing crossed off The List!) and went in search of an uncommon, but still fairly simple, cupcake recipe.  I ended up making an Earl Gray Chocolate Cupcake with Lemon-Honey Cream Cheese Frosting.  D-I-V-I-N-E.  

The flavors in this cupcake are very subtle and light but work so well together.  I know it may sound a bit odd to have a chocolate cupcake flavored with ground tea, but you get more of an aroma from the earl gray than an actual taste.  Just trust me, it's really good.  Actually, it's more than good, it's freaking awesome.

On a side note, these cupcakes make me feel like more of a foodie than I've ever been (which is kind of saying a lot... I don't just like food, I like good food... real good food).  That brings me a lot of joy.

5. Hubz is getting his hair cut tomorrow.  This brings me more joy than any cupcake ever could...  I think.

Do you think there's a difference between happiness and joyfulness?  What is bringing you joy today?



  1. Kayla,

    You bring me joy. Whether it be waking you up in the morning and threatening to "baptize" you, or walking to the grocery store because we can, or watching you play Portal and being upset with me because you actually like a computer game. Kayla, you bring me joy. Your beauty, your love, your passion and desires bring me a joy that is second to the joy I receive from Jesus Chris (I mean hello, its suppose to be 70 degrees today!).

    Love you,

  2. Kayla,
    I sincerely enjoy checking out your blog and reading new entries. You are such a beautiful person Kayla!

  3. So glad you tried my cupcake recipe and liked it!