Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Everyone has the right to live a happy life.  
                                                                           –Dalai Lama

Image result for pictures of redwood national park

When was the last night you saw something that took your breath away?  When I was walking among the Redwood trees on the northern California coast in September, I felt the wonder of being in God’s cathedral.  Working with children in the Growing Healthy Kids project allows me to see awe all the time.  

The first time a child prepares their own salad or sees a quiche being assembled and loves the smell of it baking in the oven or tastes dark chocolate for the first time, these have all been experiences when I have seen children smiling with the wonder of learning via firsthand experiences.  The way they look inquisitively at a new task they are about to master, such as learning how prepare a fresh tomato soup, puts awe into awesome.  

Image result for pictures of kids walking in the rain

Think about being outside in the rain with your mouth open to catch the raindrops.  Think about seeing the full moon or shooting stars.  Think about smelling a rose.  These experiences make us whole.  

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As parents, we work hard to ensure our children have wonderful lives.  Focus on the simple things, such as spending time together reading a book to a young child, riding bikes to the beach or making cookie chip cookies with your kids that they can take to their teacher as a Christmas gift. 

Image result for pictures of kids cooking

Treasure the awe in life.  We need it for our health.  Seek new experiences whether it is visiting our National Parks, taking your children to the local farmers market, or making a family recipe together. Awe brings happiness in abundance to your life.  It keeps life fresh.  Experiencing happiness, after all, is what life is all about. 
In gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.