The Picture of Happiness – Imperfect Seashells and Beautiful Friends

It’s The Picture of Happiness Month!

Today’s guest is Karyn Dundorf, she says:

Lately, I have come to realize that there is much beauty to be found in the imperfect.  I recently went on a trip to Clearwater, FL for a reunion of some college friends.  Instead of one of the myriad of pictures of perfect sunsets, white sand beaches, or (other people) in bikinis, I am posting a picture of a broken shell.  My friends and I are not nearly as fresh and perfect as we seemed when were 18 year-olds full of idealism and wonder.  Life has happened.  We have more wrinkles and less idealism but more wisdom and depth.  I found each of my friends more beautiful and precious than I used to.  It’s funny, I’m able to see the beauty in them, but it’s much harder to look at my own “failings” with any love.  I kept this broken shell of a reminder that there is true beauty that comes out of brokenness.  I look at the shell every day and when I do, I think of my beautiful friends.  It is a reminder to treasure people, including myself, as they are instead of what/where they are “supposed” to be.


Wise friends + life’s imperfections = happiness for Karyn Dundorf


Karyn is a once engineer, now stay at home mom to three kids 6 and under in Boulder, Colorado.

Motherhood: Taking Care of Ourselves So We Can Take Care of Our Kids

Welcome to Moms’ Month on Dr. Stephanie! This month I will be featuring guest posts from some awesome moms around the country.  They will be sharing tips, tricks, and funny stories about motherhood.  This will be a fun celebration – thanks for joining us!  Today’s author is Katie Dupont.  Welcome, Katie! 

Hi!  I’m Katie Dupont and I am a busy and happy personal trainer in San Antonio, Texas and mother of five; Ivy, 17, Karsten, 8, Kamden, 6, Sophie, 4 and Olivia, 9 months.

When asked what we want most for our kids, inevitably their true happiness in life makes the list.  But how do we teach it?  It seems these days we do so (or think we do so) by over-parenting them to it.  Always putting options before them, giving them seemingly unlimited paths to choose.  Are we really giving them the tools to seek out their own paths?  Are we pursuing happiness for ourselves as an example?

A few years ago, I had one of the hardest easy decisions to make.  I was in an abusive, destructive marriage with a man who craftily kept it from my children’s eyes, but I resigned myself to it because I told myself my kids’ security and happiness were the most important things.  What I was failing to recognize was that the eggshells on which they watched me walk were the antithesis of happiness and security for any of us.  I put on my big girl panties and left after 14 years.  As scary as that was, my children have learned a valuable lesson.  Happiness doesn’t happen to us; we must seek it out for ourselves.  I know now that I’m a more complete person for myself and for them.  Their boat was temporarily rocked but not capsized.  Since then, I met and married the love of my life and we added a final arrow to the quiver.  And when my 8 year old son sees the two of us hug and kiss, something he never saw his dad and I do, his proclamation is always the same….”Another happy ending!” What more could a mother want to hear?