This weekend my mom came to visit me and we spent three days touristing in the unusually warm spring weather, laughing, learning, reminiscing, dancing, and ending each day with aching feet, full bellies, and exhausted smiles. I realized–as I literally stopped to smell the flowers–that I could count the number of each cherry blossom in D.C. before I would finish counting my blessings. I don’t know what I did to be so lucky to have the amazing opportunities and individuals in my life that I do, but I will continue to pay it forward every day. To be surrounded by beautiful things and people and to appreciate the small moments that make life a treasure must be what it means to be truly happy. To wake up every morning with a smile, to treat the small things with equal amounts of enthusiasm as the big ones, to constantly tell the ones you love that you are thankful for them…these are just little things I started doing when I realized it was up to me (and well within my grasp) to make myself happy and they have made a world of difference. I vowed to never take the day for granted. Especially days like these.