Ed’s sister, Megan, is about to become an Aunt again, but this time…it’s a little different. Grace is being adopted by the Garrett’s from Ethiopia! She’s 8 months old and will be joining the family very, very, very soon. She’s adorable too, by the way! We are sending Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™ shirts for the entire family (she has 4 very excited siblings), including a very cute little onesie and bib their way for Grace. Check out their blog, The Garrett Journey to learn a little more about their family and their travels. Hopefully we’ll have updates from their trip since they are leaving this Friday!

Laurie did a great job talking about Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™ the other day on her blog, “Welcome to the Mad House“.

What does the saying mean to you? Here are her thoughts…

“Always Happy. Never Satisfied.”

My friend Becky, who has known me longer than I care to share (like, since before I wore a training bra!), and her other half, Ed, have started a new company, Always Happy Life.  You can check it out here.

Basically, it revolves around the philosophy of “Always Happy.  Never Satisfied.”  They will be selling shirts, onesies, bibs, etc. with that logo on it, benefiting certain charities each month.  It was just launched this week, so only the standard shirts are listed, but look out for special editions soon (I am especially looking forward to the blue/yellow Ds Awareness ones!).

I think it is a great philosophy for life, but honestly, when Beck asked me to be on their blog roll, I was a little skeptical about being there.  I mean, seriously, The Mad House definitely has its ups and downs, and always happy is not necessarily how I would describe us.

Then I started thinking about it, and the meaning of happy:
hap·py  (hp)

adj. hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est
1. Characterized by good luck; fortunate.
2. Enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.
3. Being especially well-adapted; felicitous: a happy turn of phrase.
4. Cheerful; willing: happy to help.
a. Characterized by a spontaneous or obsessive inclination to use something. Often used in combination: trigger-happy.
b. Enthusiastic about or involved with to a disproportionate degree. Often used in combination: money-happy; clothes-happy.

…and although I don’t believe I go about life spewing sunshine and roses every day, I do know how to laugh about my days, to find joy in the ordinary, and to find the positive even in the negative (most of the time…!).

We have been hit by our own doozies, definitely.  And any of them could have sent us into a downward spiral.  But what good what that do?  Much better to put on my big girl panties, write a sarcastic, self-deprecating blog post about whatever happened, and move onward and upward.  Right?

Always Happy.  Never Satisfied.  Ok 🙂

Go buy a shirt.

I have always wanted to have a blog where I can write up witty posts and share my views of the world, discuss travel destinations and plot out ways to save the world. But in the last few years, I seem to have all of my best ideas when I am driving down the road from one sailing event to the next and they never make it into anything other than that…ideas. I have been to some pretty cool places in my life and done some great things. I have lived on every coast in the US, literally. San Diego and Huntington Beach in California, Rye, New York and Newport, Rhode Island, on the East coast. Seabrook and LaPorte, Texas near the Gulf of Mexico, Chicago…it is on Lake Michigan and I feel like I have lived in Miami with as much time as I have spent there. I also spent a few months in Honolulu working on the Morning Light Project. I can’t forget the 9 months I worked at the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands too. So I can’t say I haven’t moved around a bit and had stories to tell. I’d be the first to say, I have been pretty lucky in life. I just seem to have a short somewhere upstairs that prevents me from turning great experiences in life into a form of media that can be shared by others. I have tried to use photography to share through my Flickr account. If you go there now, you can see I am slacking as of late. Did I mention I own a pretty cool video camera too? Not much has been done about using it though. Maybe I can get a YouTube account going to share the videos I actually have taken…maybe…

So why am I changing my ways? Where do I start?

I think there are many reasons. One of the first has been the fact that I have had a lot of people comment on the “Always happy. Never satisfied.™” saying on my shirts, emails and website. I always thought it would be great to sell shirts and hats and other merchandise but wanted to be able to tie it into more than just “stuff”. I always thought it would be cool to be that person who gives to charity all the time named “ANONYMOUS”. He seems to be around a lot and able to give back with nobody bothering him or asking him to donate more. Maybe, it’s because they are afraid if they ask him for more, he might stop giving. I want to be able to help people have a great life and a place for them share why they like Always happy. Never satisfied.™. Maybe, you will send us pictures of the places you go and show off your cool shirt or hat. Tell us how it relates to your life and what it really means to you. I hope you will see a lot of them if you come back here often! We have a great group of very talented bloggers that have agreed to share their blogs on alwayshappylife.com. So when you get bored with my blogs please check back often to see what others have to share. They have great causes and experiences to talk about and share with the world. If you have a great blog, story, video or even photo that fits with living Always happy. Never satisfied.™, please send it our way. We will try to share it with others here. A photo in your favorite place or famous city works too and we’ll add it to our growing blog.

So what is this new Blogging all about? Don’t worry about me going on, and on…as friends and family know, I can tend to do that especially after a cocktail or two. I will make sure to have Becky edit after I am done writing a post to keep things under control. Since I have not had a cocktail in a few days you should be safe…too much driving lately. Becky is driving now. Lucky me! You will hear more about Becky in her own blogs. Some may say she is my better half. I tend to think she was just the first one to fall for my outlook on life and believe I may have something figured out. There will also be some help from my sister, Megan Elsey who has been working with us for almost a year now. She not only helps with our sailing concierge business but also houses us half way to and from Florida and now has been roped into being Always happy. Never satisfied.™ She has a great family with three amazing kids that keep her extremely busy while her husband, Jack, flies all over the US and now internationally for Delta. He’s on his way to Rio tonight since the volcano in Iceland cancelled his flight to Germany. We will let you in on their stories, videos and photos in later blogs as well. I am sure you will hear about the rest of our family as they support us, as well as some of the adventures we go on together.

Oh yes, hopefully soon…you can call me Mr. Anonymous.

The saying, phrase, motto, whatever you want to call it, “Always happy. Never satisfied.™” is the reason we are here. Where did it come from? It started out as, “Always be happy. Never be satisfied. It was used that way for many years We shortened it for this project to keep things simple and to the point. I wish I had some great story about how I was doing something for greater mankind or was hired to write a great screenplay and came up with it or something cool like that. In reality it only came up because I noticed that people have cool sayings at the bottom of letters, emails, etc and I thought I needed one because I wanted to be cool too. So I thought about some options, tweaked them and ended up with a great saying that says a lot about my philosophy on life and who I am and what I want to be. I hope the “Always happy” part is an easy one to figure out. I may not always appear to be happy all of the time, but I try and I think I have a pretty good start. I do have a pretty big mouth, physically that is, and when you add a big smile to it I get my fair share of comments. I also have a rather hardy laugh that seems to run in the family. I think there will be a lot of people that will back me up on this one. So we will leave the first part at that. But what is the “Never satisfied” part all about? It very simple and not at all negative. By being “Never satisfied” that just means I am striving to be the best I can be all of the time. If I do well in a race I should be happy. But that doesn’t mean I stop there and accept it. I will work even harder to continue to be better the next time out. If I keep working hard and I am happy with my results but then still keep pushing and never settle for being just “satisfied”, then I should hopefully be happy all the time yet never satisfied with my results and always getting better. Whew…got that? Now use this philosophy in everything you do: Mountain biking, reaching out to friends and family in need, work, you name it. I try my best every day to do this and hopefully this will encourage others to think that way as well.

And now we have this website called alwayshappylife.com and the company Always Happy Life. I wanted to use the motto and make sure people knew we were focusing on the positive. Not everybody gets that at first. Always Happy Life, as a name is pretty positive, so we went with it. It has grown on us and when we added the logo and the icon it just makes me happy to look at it and think about where we can go with it. And have you ever tried to get a logo designed when your motto is Always happy. Never satisfied.™? Boy was that tough! We worked with some great designers, but I was never satisfied with the end result until our current one. Imagine that. And of course I have tweaked this one as well. But we are lucky to have our friends Beth and Cary at Cre843 to thank for giving us Harry, our icon, as well as the logo. We will eventually let you in on the story behind his name. He’s our new mascot and we are glad he will be around to put a smile on our faces and hopefully yours too.

So to recap…our plan with this website is to incorporate our great life experiences and other peoples as well for you to read about and hopefully inspire everyone to grow, try new things and make our world better. On top of that we plan to go out into the real world, leaving the cyber world behind and physically help with the causes, check out great places in the world and hang out with the people that we share about here. Then we will show and tell you what we have done and what they are doing and give examples of ways you can get out and enjoy the world and make it a better place. So if you have something great to share and want help with exposure and maybe even physical, help please let us know. We’ll be starting a list. We’re pretty good at making them, but we are also really good at checking things off. Or just invite us to come play with you and write about it.

Most people know why we have a store on the website. To make money…of course! But we plan to put a twist on the store to help back up our blog . We will be working with some of the organizations that we write about here to make special merchandise in order to give back. One of the first items we are working on will be a special “Ed”-ition shirt supporting Down Syndrome Awareness. Might as well capitalize on my name while we’re at it. The idea will be to design the shirt in the colors of the organization and then give a portion of the profits directly to the organization. We will then head out and support Chase’s Chaser’s as the team strives to be one of the top fundraisers for Down Syndrome in the Buddy Walk this October in Charlotte, North Carolina. We will be working even closer to home when we ride in the Iceman Mountain Bike Race with my brother’s family, Becky and some other friends in November. This is not a charity event, but we will use this to show off one of the cool areas of our great country in a sport that is an excellent way to stay in shape and is a passion for many people. We want to support active, healthy lifestyles, since being that way helps us to be happy too. We hope to be able to expand on this with other opportunities as well. This will all be based on the opportunities brought to us and the success of the brand. So hopefully if you have made it this far, we have something you can relate to and you will come back often. Feel free to comment in public or send us a private note to info@alwayshappylife.com or just keep coming back and enjoying our site.

Introducing two of our favorite blog authors that exemplify living the Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™ lifestyle. Laurie Maddex, author of Welcome to the Mad House and Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things!

Laurie and Becky have been friends since 3rd grade, amazing yes…especially since Laurie moved to Florida in 6th grade. Laurie writes of her daily life being the Mom of 3 little boys and their antics. Her family is hilarious and we are teaming up with them to support Down Syndrome awareness, since Chase sports 47 chromosomes. Look for a special Down Syndrome Awareness Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™ limited edition shirt to be available in our Always Happy Life store in September and October as a fundraiser for Chase’s Chasers.

A second blogger, who we found through Laurie is Kelle Hampton of Enjoying the Small Things. Her daughter, Nella, also sports 47 chromosomes and is absolutely adorable! We look forward to hearing more from Kelle, so be sure to check out her blog as well. Her story about Nella coming into their world is amazing. Kelle is a wonderful photographer and her blogs are definitely Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™ themed.

Nella demonstrates a perfect AlwaysHappyLife.com grin here:

Both have agreed to allow us to include their blogs that emphasize the Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™ lifestyle. We can’t wait to hear more about their adventures.

Finally…it’s here! For years, we have been hearing “I really love your saying” and we have finally done something about it. That saying,  “Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™” is what this site is based on and sums up our chosen lifestyle.

Ed thought it up years ago and Becky remembers the first time she saw it, how it just clicked. Our goal is to be “Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™” and we believe the world would be a much better place if we all tried to be happy and strive to make things better. So, welcome to AlwaysHappyLife.com!

We will be launching a store next week with shirts and stickers. You can see the previews of our Classic designs here and we have plans to create limited edition shirts to support various causes and charities. We are very fortunate to have so many people helping us out and we will be introducing everyone over the next few weeks, with more to come as Always Happy. Never Satisfied™ and AlwaysHappyLife.com grow. For now, please check out the first few blogs who represent this lifestyle. We look forward to seeing where this small company takes us and meeting people from all over who believe in this type of lifestyle. Feel free to contact us, forward us your blog, story or photos that exemplify living Always Happy. Never Satisfied.™  And don’t forget to get out there and if you aren’t already, start living your life Always Happy.  Never Satisfied.™